U.S. Infant Mortality Rates Down From 2005 Through 2011

Decline of 12 percent for 2005 to 2011 period; decreases in four of five leading causes of death

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Infant mortality rates in the United States decreased from 2005 through 2011, according to an April data brief issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Marian F. MacDorman, Ph.D., from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues examined the changes in infant mortality rates from 2005 to 2011 by age at death, maternal race and ethnicity, cause of death, and state.

According to the report, infant mortality rates were stable from 2000 through 2005, and decreased 12 percent from 2005 through 2011. Similar decreases were noted in neonatal and postnatal mortality. For non-Hispanic black women, the decline from 2005 to 2011 was 16 percent, compared with 12 percent for non-Hispanic white women. For four of the five leading causes of death, infant mortality decreased from 2005 through 2011. The most rapid declines in infant mortality were noted in some, but not all, Southern states. However, states in the South still had among the highest rates in 2010, with high rates also seen in some Midwestern states.

"After a plateau from 2000 through 2005, the U.S. infant mortality rate declined by 12 percent to a rate of 6.05 in 2011. Provisional infant mortality counts for the first half of 2012 suggest a continued downward trend," the authors write. "Despite the recent infant mortality decline, comparing the 2011 U.S. infant mortality rate with the 2008 international rankings would still have the United States ranked 27th."

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