Thursday, August 27, 2009

Infant Mortality Ranking Shows U.S. at 29th Place

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics says in a report that the U.S. ranks 29th worldwide in infant mortality. This has the U.S. worsening its ranking tying with Slovakia and Poland but falling behind Cuba. In 1960 the U.S. came in at 12th place and it was ranked 27th in 2004, while Japan which is ranked third has an infant mortality rate of less than half the U.S. at 2.8 per thousand live births.

Marian F. MacDorman, PhD, and T.J. Mathews, CDC researchers said, "The U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than rates in most other developed countries. The relative position of the United States in comparison to countries with the lowest infant mortality rates appears to be worsening."

Infant mortality is an indicator of the health in the country and in the U.S. it is at 6.78 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. The data collected through the National Vital Statistics System showed that more than 28,000 American babies die before their first birthday. The countries which came out on the top of the list were Singapore in first place with a mortality rate of 2.0, followed by Hong Kong at 2.5 and Japan came in third at 2.8.

At the current rate infant mortality is 50 % higher than the national goal of 4.5 infant deaths per 1000 live births. The CDC report says the infant mortality rate did not decline from 2000 to 2005 but there was a 2 % decline in the years 2005 to 2006. Non Hispanic black women had an infant mortality rate that was 2.4 times higher than the non Hispanic white women. One of the biggest reasons for two thirds of infant death is premature birth and preterm birth rate in the U.S. went up from 11.6 % in 2000 to 12.7 % in 2005.

The countries that came at the bottom of the list were Russian Federation with 11.5, Bulgaria with 11.7 and Romania was at the bottom with 16.8.

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