CDC: U.S. Infant Mortality Rate at Historic Low
(HealthDay News) — The number of U.S. infants who die before their first birthday continues to decline and is at a historic low, health officials reported Thursday. The findings were published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's August 6 National Vital Statistics Report.
Between 2012–2013, the rate dropped only slightly, from 5.98 deaths per 1,000 births to 5.96. But that's part of a long-term trend: Since 2005, when infant mortality stood at 6.86 per 1,000 births, the rate has fallen by 13%, according to the CDC. In 2013, 23,446 infants died in the United States, 208 fewer than in 2012, the researchers found.
For most groups, the infant mortality rate remained stable. However, mortality rates among Puerto Ricans and Cuban-Americans dropped significantly – 14% for Puerto Rican women and 40% for Cuban-American women. The infant mortality rate for blacks is double that of whites.
In 2013, infants born at 37–38 weeks of gestation had mortality rates 63% higher than that seen for infants born at full term, according to the report. For multiple births, the infant mortality rate was 25.84 per 1,000 births. Also in 2013, 36% of infant deaths were due to preterm-related causes, such as short gestation and low birth weight. Another 15% were due to sudden, unexpected infant death, including unspecified causes and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed, the researchers said.