United States Records Lowest Number Of Infant Mortality Rates From 2005 To 2014

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald March 22, 09:26 pm
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A photo showing a baby. Infant mortality rate decreased in the past nine years in the United States.
(Photo : John Stillwell/WPA-Pool/Getty Images)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Tuesday about infant mortality rates. The report claimed they saw new lows of infant deaths from the years 2005 to 2014.

Chief medical officer Dr. Paul Jarris for the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization centered on the health of mothers and babies, said it is great news that infant mortality rate dropped from 6.86 to 5.82 percent per 1,000 live births from 2005 to 2014. The findings also showed deaths caused by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) decreased by 29 percent, NBC News revealed.

Jarris added that even though infant mortality rate reached new lows, there are still a lot to be concerned of such as inequities between non-Hispanic blacks, American Indians and the Caucasian population. In the study, they found significant drops in infant mortality rates among racial groups such as the Hispanic subgroups, Asians, Cubans, non-Hispanic blacks and Pacific Islander populations. However, they did not see any notable drop from American Indians and Alaska Natives, CNN reported.

Even though the researchers saw reductions across racial groups, the drops were not significant enough to close the racial gap. The mortality rate of infants born to non-Hispanic black women was more than double compared to those born to non-Hispanic white women.

As to what could have caused the decline, the report's author and a demographer at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics T.J. Mathews said, "I think there was a public health push in the past decade to figure out ways to lower this rate, and it has made an impact." Aside from SIDS, one of the other leading causes of infant mortality was congenital malformations, which dropped by 11 percent.

Short gestation and low birthweight also dropped by eight percent while maternal complications dropped by seven percent. Unintentional injuries, however, was considered the fifth leading cause of death in infants and it increased from 26.2 in 2005 to 29.2 in 2014, which is an 11 percent jump.

Most of the decline in infant mortality rate came from the District of Columbia, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Thirty-three states recorded decrease in infant mortality rate.

The plunge in teen pregnancy rate was also cited as one of the causes of the decline. In the past, researchers said more than 40 percent of the pregnancies in the United States were unplanned, which meant women were not prepared to be mothers, as they usually do not take prenatal vitamins, do not go to their monthly checkups and are not healthy overall to carry a baby.

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