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Cause-of-death data from the fetal death file, 2015–2017
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  • Description:
    Objectives—This report presents data on fetal cause of death by maternal age, maternal race and Hispanic origin, fetal sex, period of gestation, birthweight, and plurality.

    Methods—Descriptive tabulations of data collected on the 2003 U.S. Standard Report of Fetal Death are presented for fetal deaths occurring at 20 weeks of gestation or more for 2015– 2017 in a reporting area of 34 states and the District of Columbia, in which less than 50% of deaths were attributed to Fetal death of unspecified cause (P95). Cause-of-death reporting in this area was based on the 2003 fetal death report revision and represents 60% of fetal deaths occurring in the United States during this time. Causes of death are processed in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision.

    Results—Five selected causes account for 89.5% of fetal deaths in the reporting area: Fetal death of unspecified cause; Fetus affected by complications of placenta, cord and membranes; Fetus affected by maternal complications of pregnancy; Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities; and Fetus affected by maternal conditions that may be unrelated to present pregnancy.

    Conclusions—Cause-of-fetal-death data reported on vital records enable new comparisons of maternal and fetal characteristics and provide information for a larger proportion of the country than other studies. While limited variation was seen among the selected causes across the maternal and fetal characteristics examined, many of the observed variations are consistent with associations that have been documented in the research literature.

    Suggested citation: Hoyert DL, Gregory ECW. Cause-of-death data from the fetal death file, 2015–2017. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 69 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020.

    CS315315

    nvsr69-04-508.pdf

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