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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Reports from the UK Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity are now published annually. In 2013–15, the maternal mortality rate was 8.8 per 100,000 maternities. Over two thirds of women died from medical and mental health causes and less than one third from obstetric causes. Cardiac disease remained the leading cause of maternal death in the UK. With the majority of women dying from pre-existing conditions, there remain multiple opportunities to reduce women's risk of complications in pregnancy through early and forward planning of the care of women with known pre-existing medical and mental health problems. Provision of appropriate advice and optimisation of medication prior to pregnancy, referral early in pregnancy for the appropriate specialist advice and planning of antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care and effective postnatal provision of advice concerning risks and planning for future pregnancies are the key improvements needed to prevent women dying in the future.

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