In view of the absence of systematic data, a few studies that specifically examined causes of
death during the perinatal period are worth mentioning, particularly in view of the dramatic and
unexpected results they revealed.
In high-income countries, Appleby (57), Kendell (58),
Frautschi, Cerulli, and Maine (59), and
Brockington (60) have examined mortality during the perinatal period. Overall, they found that
the leading cause of death during this period was suicide, with rates significantly higher than in
non-pregnant, non puerperal women.