Year: 2020 Source: Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecolgy Canada. (2020). Published online 4 July 2020. SIEC No: 20200721

: To characterize the incidence and risk factors associated with maternal suicide during the peripartum period in an Alberta population. Our secondary objective was to characterize the incidence and risk factors associated with traumatic death in this same population.
: This is a retrospective cohort study compared all-cause mortality with death by trauma (suicide, homicide, MVA, drug toxicity) using data collected by the Alberta Perinatal Health Program from 1998 to 2015. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics. The maternal mortality rate was calculated, and χ2 tests were used to determine between group differences with the statistical significance set at P < 0.05.
: There were 206 perinatal maternal deaths in Alberta from 1998 to 2015; 68 (33%) were due to trauma, 17 (8%) were the result of suicide, 4 (2%) were the result of homicide, and 24 (12%) were related to drug toxicity. The pregnancy-related maternal mortality rate for suicide up to 365 days after birth was 2.05 deaths per 100 000 deliveries. Of these, 29.4% occurred during pregnancy and 70.6%, in the first year postpartum. For homicides, 62.5% of occurred in pregnancy and 37.5% occurred in the first year postpartum.
: Close to 1 in 5 maternal deaths in Alberta is related to suicide or drug toxicity. We must escalate strategies to prevent deaths from suicide and drug toxicity, as well as increase funding for mental health and addictions screening and treatment.