Finding Understudied Disorders Potentially Associated with Maternal Morbidity and Mortality

AJP Rep. 2019 Jan;9(1):e36-e43. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1683363. Epub 2019 Mar 4.


Objective Clinical research literature focuses primarily on the most common causes of maternal morbidity and mortality (MMM). We explore sections of the discharge summaries of pregnant or postpartum women admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) to identify associated disorders and mine the literature to identify knowledge gaps in clinical research. Methods Data for the study were discharge summaries in the MIMIC (Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care) database. We extracted a control cohort to study if there is a difference in comorbidities between pregnant and not pregnant patients with similar reasons for admission. We identified comorbidities of the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) semantic types disease or syndrome, Mental or behavioral dysfunction, and injury, or poisoning. We used Entrez programming utilities (E-utilities) to query PubMed ® . Results We identified 246 pregnant and postpartum patients. A control group of 587 not pregnancy related admissions matched on age and admit diagnosis. We found overlap of 24.3% discharge diagnoses between the two groups, and 7.5% of the codes exclusively in the pregnancy group. We identified 33 disease mentions not included in the most common reported causes of MMM. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that clinical text provides additional comorbidities associated with maternal complications that need further clinical research.

Keywords: maternal morbidity; maternal mortality; preventing maternal deaths; puerperium.

Publication types

  • Case Reports