Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the United States and California

  • CVD accounts for >33% of all pregnancy-related deaths in the US and 25% of pregnancy-related deaths in CA (2002-2006)
  • Data from the California Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review (CA-PAMR) of deaths occurring from 2002-2006 show that
    • Only a small fraction of these women had a known diagnosis of cardiovascular disease prior to death
    • Most women who died had presented with symptoms either during pregnancy or after childbirth
    • A significantly higher proportion of women sustain short- and long-term morbidity due to undiagnosed or delayed diagnosis of cardiovascular disease as evidenced by the fact that one of every three intensive care admissions in pregnancy and postpartum period are related to cardiac disease.
    • 25% of these deaths may have been prevented if heart disease was diagnosed earlier. 

To address these issues, CMQCC together with the California Department of Public Health: Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division published the Improving Health Care Response to Cardiovascular Disease in Pregnancy and Postpartum Toolkit in 2017. 

The toolkit is available to download in the “Resources” section of our website: