Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Wisconsin County Closes Black-White Infant Mortality Gap

Reduction in extremely premature birth rate major contributor, study finds

MONDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that Wisconsin had the highest black infant mortality rate among 40 states between 2002 and 2004, at three times the same state rate for whites, Dane County in Wisconsin achieved parity in black-white infant mortality over the same period, according to a study published in the May 29 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Thomas Schlenker, M.D., and Mamadou Ndiaye, M.D., of Public Health Madison and Dane County in Wisconsin analyzed data on 100,000 birth and death records from 1990 to 2007, looking at birth weight, gestational age, prenatal care, and other infant mortality risk factors.

In the period 2002 to 2007, Dane County's infant mortality rate was 6.4 per 1,000 live births, a 67 percent drop from the 19.4 per 1,000 live births in the period 1990 to 2001, the investigators found. A large decrease in the number of births below 28 week's gestation, and a drop in newborn mortality for babies weighing less than 1,500 grams were the main contributors to the drop in black infant mortality, the researchers discovered.

"Because the observed trend in black infant mortality is based on small reductions in the absolute number of deaths (approximately three infants per year), conclusions based on these results should be considered preliminary, and additional studies are needed to confirm the reduction in rates over time," the authors write.

Full Text

Physician's Briefing