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Collaboration Between Maternal and Child Health and Chronic Disease Epidemiologists to Identify Strategies to Reduce Hypertension-Related Severe Maternal Morbidity
  • Published Date:
    December 12 2019
  • Source:
    Prev Chronic Dis. 16
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-293.29 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Maternal and child health (MCH) and chronic disease programs at state health agencies may not routinely collaborate. The objective of this study was to describe a project that enhanced relationships between MCH and chronic disease epidemiologists at the Florida Department of Health, increased epidemiologic capacity, and informed both programs.


    We collaborated to assess hypertension-related severe maternal morbidity (H-SMM) and hypertensive disorders (preexisting hypertension, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia) among women at delivery of their live birth to help determine the burden on health care systems in Florida. We identified ways to improve the health of women before they conceive and to help them manage any chronic diseases during the perinatal period.


    We found differences by maternal characteristics in H-SMM rates among 979,660 women who delivered live births. We proposed strategies to support collaboration between state MCH and chronic disease staff. First, increase the screening, monitoring, and management of hypertension before, during, and after pregnancy. Second, examine H-SMM concurrently with maternal mortality to help find prevention strategies. Third, include reproductive-aged women in ongoing hypertension prevention and intervention efforts. Fourth, expand team-based care to include obstetricians, midwives, and doulas who can work together with primary care providers for hypertension management. And fifth, create and share data products that guide various groups about hypertension and related risk factors among reproductive-aged women.


    The collaboration between the Florida Department of Health MCH and chronic disease epidemiologists produced 1) a program-relevant indicator, H-SMM and 2) strategies for enhancing program and clinical activities, communication, and surveillance to reduce H-SMM rates.

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