The US maternal death rate has risen by more than 50% since 1990, according to a study by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.

“The Unites States has become an outlier among rich nations in maternal deaths,” Sabrine Tavernise reported in the New York Times Sept. 22. In recent decades the percentage of women whose deaths resulted from complications during pregnancy or childbirth has been declining worldwide—even in poor countries. But it rose in the US from 23 per 100,000 in 2005 to 28 per 100,000 in 2013. The Centers for Disease Control attributes the rise to heart disease and diabetes.  One study “found particularly high rates in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Georgia and Arkansas, especially among black women.”

Tavernese quotes Eugene Declerq, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health:

“People may think this is happening because the US has more minorities and poor people,” he said. “But even if you limit the analysis to whites, we would still rank behind all other industrialized countries.”

MEMO (managing editor mouths off):  And what is causing the particularly high rates of heart disease and diabetes in poor US women of childbearing age? Agribiz and the petrochemical industry have poisoned our food, air, and water. The rich can afford organic food and Pellegrino water, they can reside far from the refineries, but they  should bear in mind the old spiritual, “Ain’t no hiding place down here.”

There is some evidence from animal studies that the “minor cannabinoid” THCV might ameliorate the symptoms of diabetes —and some medicine-minded growers have been trying to breed up THCV levels in their plants, as reported in the Winter/Spring 2016 O’Shaughnessy’s.  But let’s stay in perspective, my fellow Americans.  We all need food with real nutrients, not empty calories that bloat instead of strengthen our bodies. “Black Lives Matter” is just another way of saying “White Lives Matter.” Brown and Beige, too.