Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Contraceptives Prevented a Quarter of a Million Deaths Worldwide in 2008

Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Contraceptives Prevented a Quarter of a Million Deaths Worldwide in 2008

Article excerpt

An estimated 272,000 maternal deaths were averted worldwide by contraceptive use in 2008, according to an analysis of data from 172 developing and developed countries. (1) Globally, more than 342,000 women aged 15-49 died in 2008 because of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth; without contraceptive use, however, that number would have increased by 80%, to 614,000. If women's unmet need for contraception had been fully satisfied, an additional 104,000 maternal deaths would have been averted.

Data for the analysis were drawn from several World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations databases, as well as from country population surveys. The researchers used two techniques to estimate maternal deaths averted by contraceptive use: counterfactual modeling and linear regression. The first approach replicated the method that WHO's Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group used previously to estimate maternal mortality in 172 countries. The second method was used to estimate maternal mortality in 167 countries (five small countries for which contraceptive rates were unavailable, but had been imputed in the first analysis, were excluded from this analysis); in addition, the method was applied to estimate the number of maternal deaths that would have been averted if unmet need for contraception had been fully met-that is, if all married or sexually active single women aged 15-49 who were not using a contraceptive, but wanted to space or limit their childbearing, had used a method.

On the basis of their first analytic model, the researchers estimated that, in 2008, roughly 342,000 married or sexually active single women aged 15-49 died worldwide because of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Some 722 million of the 1.2 billion women included in the analysis practiced contraception. Without contraceptive use, an additional 272,000 maternal deaths would have occurred that year--for a total of 614,000 maternal deaths, a number 80% higher than in actuality. Nearly all of those extra deaths-270,000--would have been in developing regions, notably Asia (163,000); in fact, India alone accounted for nearly a third (86,000) of the averted deaths. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.