COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state Department of Health says a study shows more than half of pregnancy-related deaths in Ohio over a four-year period were preventable.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the statewide study released Friday shows that 57% of 89 reported pregnancy-related deaths from 2012 to 2016 could have been avoided.

The study found a concerning racial disparity between black and white mothers. While 17% of the women giving birth were black, they accounted for 34% of pregnancy-related deaths in the state.

Pregnancy-related deaths are defined as deaths that occur during or within a year of pregnancy and are caused by a medical issue aggravated or induced by pregnancy.

Health Department Director Dr. Amy Acton says the state must work to prevent all pregnancy-related deaths and calls the racial disparity “unacceptable.”

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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