CDC: Fetal Mortality in United States in 2020 Unchanged From 2019


THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2022 — The rate of fetal deaths at 20 weeks of gestation or more was 5.74 deaths per 1,000 live births and fetal deaths in 2020, which was not significantly different from the rate in 2019, according to the Aug. 4 National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Elizabeth C. W. Gregory, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues present 2020 fetal mortality data by maternal race and Hispanic origin, age, tobacco use, and state of residence.

The researchers found that in the United States in 2020, a total of 20,854 fetal deaths were reported at 20 weeks of gestation or more. The fetal mortality rate was 5.74 fetal deaths at 20 weeks of gestation or more per 1,000 live births and fetal deaths for 2020, which was not significantly different from the rate of 5.70 seen in 2019. For deaths occurring at 20 to 27 weeks of gestation, the fetal mortality rate was 2.97 in 2020, which was essentially unchanged from the rate of 2.98 in 2019. There was also no difference observed in the rate in 2020 versus 2019 for deaths occurring at 28 weeks of gestation or more (2.78 versus 2.73).

The fetal mortality rate was highest for non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and non-Hispanic Black women (10.59 and 10.34, respectively), while the rate was lowest for non-Hispanic Asian women (3.93). Females aged younger than 15 years and 45 years and older, those who smoked during pregnancy, and those with multiple gestation pregnancies had the highest fetal mortality rates.

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