Pregnancy-Associated Mortality

Co-Principal Investigator:
Michael A. Langston, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee
Maternal mortality is defined by the World Health Organization as "the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes." This project will study maternal mortality in the context of variables such as income inequality, violence and pregnancy-associated co-morbidities, and disparities in race, ethnicity, geography and other factors in high-risk and disproportionately affected populations. It will employ a wealth of multi-level data, the public health exposome, and a computationally-intensive approach that incorporates individual and environmental predictors, both for Louisiana specifically and for the country as a whole. Graph-theoretical decomposition of physical, environmental and other sorts of relevant data will help identify more precisely those biological, behavioral and social contexts that increase risk for pregnancy-related mortality, while uncovering mediating pathways between these contexts and specific outcomes such as pregnancy-associated homicide. Major goals include the elucidation of latent but causal processes and the development of a comprehensive landscape of the ecology of maternal mortality across the United States.
Research Partners:
The PI for this project is Emily W. Harville. The PI for its parent award is Maeve E. Wallace. Both are on the faculty at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. The Research Associate for this project is Dovile Vilda, who holds a postdoctoral fellow position at Tulane's Mary Amelia Women's Center. Paul D, Juarez from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College also serves as Co-PI.
Recent News Release:
Homicide is a Top Cause of Maternal Death in the United States
Relevant NIH Initiative:
IMPROVE - Implementing a Maternal health and PRegnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone