AHRQ is seeking comments on the maternal health draft report

GPs encouraged to respond by December 4. deadline

17 Nov. 2022, 8:48 am News Staff – GPs and members of the general public are invited to comment on the draft version of a systematic review from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality examining the relationship between social and structural determinants of health and risk factors for maternal morbidity and mortality.

Draft Report: Methods and Findings

AHRQ developed the draft report in conjunction with “Identifying Risks and Interventions to Optimize Postpartum Health,” an upcoming NIH Pathways to Prevention workshop.

The draft includes 109 studies published through April 2022 reporting social and structural determinants of health associated with maternal health outcomes. Outcomes included not only maternal mortality and morbidity, but also hypertensive disorders, gestational diabetes, cardiometabolic disorders, “weathering” (the physiological effect of premature aging caused by chronic stress), depression, other mental health or substance use disorders, and costs /use health care.

The researchers found that both the depth and quality of the available research was limited, making it difficult to draw conclusions about the links between social/structural determinants of health and risk factors for maternal morbidity and mortality. Most studies, they noted, used correlational study designs rather than analytical approaches to determine the cause of a particular health outcome.

Given the lack of quality studies available for review, the researchers said “there are significant opportunities for future research to improve the measured and recorded outcomes.” They called for the development of studies that

  • highlight techniques and analytical approaches that enhance the ability to estimate causal effects,
  • have improved reporting standards, and
  • use datasets and other mechanisms to better capture the information needed to better examine the effects of racism and other social determinants of health.

How to respond

Individuals may submit comments through an online submission form. Users have the opportunity to comment on any section of the draft, as well as make general comments on the results and conclusions of the report. They may also provide supporting documents.

Individuals who have problems with the online submission form can email their comments to

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