Free Essay: Infant Mortality Rate in the US
Infant mortality rate is a phrase that is used to define the number of deaths of children below one year of age in every one thousand births. In the US, infant mortality is a sad reality that continues to haunt so many families. However, the infant mortality rate in the US has been on the decline over the years. Between 1990 and 2010, the infant mortality rate in the US reported a 20% decline; however, this is still not up to standard considering that most high-income countries registered much steeper declines. According to a report by Save the Children, more newborns die in the United States compared to 68 other countries that include Peru, Turkey and Egypt.
Between the year 2005 and 2011, the infant mortality rate of the US fell by 12%. According to most researchers, this is a promising pattern that may be associated with a significant decline in premature deaths. However, this decline came after tenure of stalled progress. Reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that despite the fall in infant mortality rate in the US over the 20th century, the progress remained static between 2000 and 2005. The improvements were mainly experienced in the Southern states that are most affected by infant mortality.
According to a report released by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2013, birth defects and low birth weight have been the main causes of infant mortality in the US. The report further alleges that in most occasions, babies that are born to teenage mothers are the ones most likely to register low birth weights. The infant mortality rate in the US is higher than the OECD average of four deaths in every 1,000.
Another major cause of infant mortality in the United States is the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. When combined with the other two causes pointed out above, the three accounted for 46% of the total death of infants. Quite a number of deaths can be linked to poor nutrition and sub-standard healthcare during pregnancy. Besides, some infant deaths also result from maternal complications of pregnancy and injuries to the babies as a result of suffocation and other causes. It is believed that women with single risk factors often have other risk factors that hinder the survival of their babies past one year of age.
Currently, it has been established that the states with the highest infant mortality rates in the US are Mississippi and Alabama. However, Mississippi registered a significant decline of 15% in the period between 2005 t0 2010. On the other hand, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina have got the steepest decrease in the death of infants. In all these four states, the infant mortality rates dropped by more than 20% in the period starting 2005 to 2010.
The infant mortality rate in the US is an important measure of the nation’s overall health. Thus, still needs to be well observed and reduced to the lowest levels for prosperity.
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