Bad News About the U.S. Infant Mortality Rate

December 19, 2013  |  
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Even though the United States is one of the richest countries in the world, it still doesn’t have the best record when it comes to infant mortality. In fact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) consistently ranks the U.S. near the bottom of its list of 34 member countries when it comes to infant mortality. Even as hospitals try to keep our babies healthier, the infant mortality rate dropped only a little from 2009 to 2010, reports NBC News.

The latest report from the Center for Disease Control found that the infant mortality rate in the United States went down only 4 percent between 2009 and 2010, from 6.39 infant deaths per 1,000 births to 6.14 deaths. That means in 2010, 24,572 babies died at birth or shortly after birth. The most common causes of infant deaths are birth defects, SIDS and low birth weight. The rest of the world is way ahead:

The U.S. infant mortality rate is well above the OECD average of four deaths per 1,000. In Iceland, just 1.6 babies out of every 1,000 die and in Sweden, Japan, and Finland, it’s around two per 100,000.

Poor nutrition and health during pregnancy has a lot to do with the high infant mortality rate. Gestational age is also a big factor; two-thirds of all babies who died at or shortly after birth were preemies. This sobering news just serves as a remind for pregnant women to do whatever they can to have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

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