Infant Mortality Rate Higher Across Black Population

Newborn baby

Despite a general decrease, infant mortality rates are higher among black babies

Infant mortality rates have decreased in the US, but it seems that the situation is not so bright across all ethnicities present on the American territory. According to a research letter published in JAMA Pediatrics, in spite of this decline, more deaths have been registered among black infants.

General infant mortality rate decreased

Between 2014 and 2015, researchers observed how the general infant mortality rate in the US has decreased. However, the situation is different if you look at the rates for each ethnic group. Therefore, mortality among black babies increased from 11.4 to 11.7 per 1,000 births.

This phenomenon comes after a constant period when infant mortality across this ethnic group has been on decline. In 2005, the fatalities reached 14.3 per 1,000 births and, until 2012, they had decreased to 11.6 per 1,000 births. This constant decline coincided with the general decline of infant mortality across all babies. However, certain disparities from white babies were already present.

This study has been put up using data collected by the National Vital Statistics System. The information was analyzed by Canadian researchers from McGill University, from the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Occupational Health.

The cause of more black infant deaths is unknown

Researchers cannot explain why infant mortality rates are bigger among black children. They found no cause to be prominent among all deaths, and most cases are characterized by arbitrariness. However, they observed that preterm births occur 50 percent more often among black mothers than among white mothers.

These preterm babies are more likely to die from low birthweight or other resulting issues, and statistics show black infants are four times more likely to be born prematurely or to have a low weight at birth. Therefore, this might work as an explanation for such a high infant mortality rate among the African-American population.
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