New York City's maternal mortality rate has increased nearly 30per cent over a 10-year period, according to a new report.
And those worst affected are African American women living in poor communities such as the Bronx and Queens.
The Center for Research and Policy in the Public Interest, which conducted the study, found that black women face a maternal mortality rate of 79 deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to 10 per 1,000 live births for white women.
Women's health: New York City's maternal mortality rate has increased nearly 30per cent over a 10-year period, according to a new report - and those worst affected are African American women
A decade ago, the maternal mortality rate for African American women was roughly 40 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Rates are highest in the Bronx, which has large poor and minority populations, at 6.3 per 1,000 live births, with the South Bronx Morrisania neighborhood reporting a rate of 7.8.
C. Nicole Mason, the author of the report, published by the New York Women's Foundation, said that the spike in the maternal mortality rate among African American is largely based on three factors: Poor prenatal and postpartum care, higher rates of c-sections and most significantly, other health factors like obesity.
Ms Mason told Gothamist that 40per cent of women who die from 'maternal related complications' during pregnancy or soon after giving birth are overweight.
'We really need to think about how women in poor communities are treated from the time they become pregnant until they deliver, and whether they're getting the health care they deserve,' she said.
The report also found that Brooklyn has the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses among women, at 32per cent, followed closely by the Bronx, at 28per cent.
'We really need to think about... whether they're getting the health care they deserve'
African American women had the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses, at 64.6 percent, followed by Latinas at 27.8per cent.
Women without health insurance are four times as likely to die as women with coverage, according to a previous 2010 study by the New York Academy of Medicine.
Women that have late or no access to prenatal care saw a spike in the Bronx, with 11per cent missing out on the nursing recommended during pregnancy.
This is compared to 8.7per cent in Queens, 6.2per cent in Brooklyn, 5.3per cent in Manhattan and 3.8per cent in Staten Island.
Staten Island appears to be the overall best borough for women, with lower than average poverty and unemployment rates. The island also has the lowest levels of public assistance and highest median family income.
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