CDC: Infant Mortality Rate Declines for First Time in Years

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New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that infant mortality in the United States has declined 12 percent in the last eight years. The rate had declined throughout the last century but began to plateau in the last decade.

In 2011, there were 6.05 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. That number is down from 6.87 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005.

The CDC said that it was the steepest decline for infants born to black women. The decline was also most prominent in southern states, such as Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Researchers still think the infant mortality rate in the US is too high—far worse than Canada, Australia and many European counties.

"Even though we do have a decline, preterm birth rates are much higher than in other countries, said study co-author Marian MacDorman of the National Center for Health Statistics. "And the same is true with infant mortality."

The findings were published in the current issue of the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.

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