Black infants in US twice as likely to die as whites, CDC reports

August 8, 2013
Black infants in U.S. twice as likely to die as whites: CDC
South has highest rates of infant mortality, gov't report finds.

(HealthDay)—Survival odds for black American infants are considerably worse than for white babies, a new U.S. study finds.

Despite a steady decline in overall infant death rates, black infants are nearly twice as likely to die before their first birthday compared to white babies, and premature black infants are three times more likely to die during their first year than premature white babies, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report also notes that the South accounts for the majority of states with the highest rates of infant death.

The findings of racial and regional disparities show that challenges remain, according to the study, published in the Aug. 8 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Also, the United States lags behind other developed nations in terms of infant deaths. "Since 1950, medical technology has helped to reduce infant mortality, but the United States still has a relatively poor global standing," the report states. "In 2010, the United States ranked 32nd among the 34 nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in ."

The overall U.S. infant death rate—defined as death within the first year of life—has declined over the past 50 years, and in 2011 was 6.05 per 1,000 , the report notes.

Infant deaths are mostly the result of pre-term birth, birth defects, mothers' poor health, labor and delivery complications, lack of appropriate care at the time of delivery, sudden unexpected , and infection, the researchers said.

They noted that recent national and regional partnerships may help improve the health of mothers before, during and after pregnancy, which could help prevent infant deaths.

Specific steps that can boost a baby's chance of survival, the authors say, include: improving the health of women before they get pregnant; reducing ; stopping elective preterm deliveries; providing infants with safe sleeping environments; and ensuring that high-risk infants are born in facilities that provide the best care.

Explore further: U.S. infant mortality rates finally dropping again: report

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more about infant care and health.

Related Stories

U.S. infant mortality rates finally dropping again: report

April 17, 2013
(HealthDay)—After five years of leveling off, the U.S. infant mortality rate is finally on the decline again, a new government report shows.

Prematurity, low birth weight significantly impact mortality rates

April 1, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A study by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers published April 1, 2013, in the journal Pediatrics showed that increasing numbers of premature and other low birth weight infants are the ...

Infant mortality linked to subsequent risk of stillbirth finds new US study

September 21, 2011
Women whose first pregnancy ended in infant death are significantly more likely to have a subsequent stillbirth finds new research published today (21 September) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Study shows reduced risk of preterm birth for pregnant women vaccinated during pandemic flu

February 19, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Pregnant women who received the H1N1 influenza vaccine during the 2009 pandemic were less likely to have premature babies, and their babies weighed more on average.

Risk of newborn death cut in half when pregancy lasts 39 weeks, new research finds

May 23, 2011
Adding just a few more weeks of pregnancy can cut a newborn's risk of death in half – even if the pregnancy has reached "term" -- adding more evidence to the argument that continuing a pregnancy to at least 39 weeks ...

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.