- Number of infant deaths (before age 1) per 1,000 live births.
Infant Mortality is the number of infant deaths that occur before age 1 per 1,000 live births. The 2014 ranks are based on a 2-year average using 2011 and 2012 data from the National Center for Health Statistics National Vital Statistics System.
Infant mortality varies greatly among states, from 4.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in Massachusetts to 9.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in Mississippi. Nationally, the infant mortality rate is 6.0 deaths per 1,000 live births. Healthy People 2020’s leading health indicator is to reduce the rate of all infant deaths to 6.0 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Infant mortality is associated with many factors surrounding birth: maternal health, prenatal care, and access to quality healthcare. Congenital malformations are the leading cause of infant mortality followed by low birthweight and sudden infant death syndrome. Infant mortality is commonly used to compare health between countries because of its association with access to health care in the prenatal period and first year of life. The nation’s overall infant mortality rate is consistently higher than that of other developed countries, and significant sociodemographic disparities persist., In addition to sociodemographic factors, there are many health care system factors that influence infant mortality. Improving access to and utilization of ongoing prenatal care is a key strategy towards decreasing infant mortality, as well as reducing maternal smoking and alcohol consumption. The US Department of Health and Human Services has put together a fact sheet on preventing infant mortality.
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 Matthews TJ, MacDorman MF. Infant mortality statistics from the 2010 period linked birth/infant death data set. National Vital Statistics Reports. 2013:62(8).
 MacDorman MF, and Mathews TJ. Recent Trends in Infant Mortality in the United States. Hyattsville, MD: US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics; 2008.
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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidance for Preventing Birth Defects. 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/prevention.html. Accessed July 10, 2014.