Introduction: Five hundred thousand maternal deaths occur each year worldwide, many of which are in developing countries. The maternal mortality rate is a measure that demonstrates the degree of adequacy of prenatal care and of economic and social conditions. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and causes of pregnancy-related mortality rates in Yazd Province.

Methods: This cross-sectional study examined the maternal deaths related to pregnancy that were recorded in Yazd Province, Iran, from 2002 to 2011. All maternal deaths that occurred during pregnancy, during delivery, and 42 days after birth were analyzed in this study. The data were collected through a questionnaire, and both direct and indirect causes of maternal deaths were determined.

Results: Forty pregnancy-related deaths occurred in this period, and the maternal mortality rate was 20.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. The mean age of death in the mothers in this study was 29.17. Fifty-five percent of women of the women who died delivered their babies by cesarean section, and only 20% of them delivered their babies vaginally. Bleeding was the most common cause of maternal mortality (30%), and it was associated directly with maternal mortality. Furthermore 20% of the mothers died due to heart disease and cardiac complications, which were associated indirectly with maternal mortality.

Conclusion:  Cesarean section and its complications were the main cause of death in many cases. Thus, providing a strategic plan to reduce the use of this procedure, educate mothers, and ensure adequate access to pre-maternal care and to care during pregnancy are the most important measures that can be taken to decrease the maternal mortality rate.


Keywords: maternal mortality, pregnancy-related
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