Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New study explores contributors to excess infant mortality in the U.S. south

Date:
February 4, 2014
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Currently, the United States ranks 27th among industrialized nations in infant mortality, but rates within the U.S. vary significantly by race, socioeconomic status, and geography. In particular, the Southern states suffer from high rates of infant mortality, along with several other negative population health indicators such as obesity and diabetes.

Infant mortality rate (IMR) by state, 2007−2009.
Credit: Elsevier

Researchers consider infant mortality to be a key indicator of population health. Currently, the United States ranks 27th among industrialized nations in infant mortality, but rates within the U.S. vary significantly by race, socioeconomic status, and geography. In particular, the Southern states suffer from high rates of infant mortality, along with several other negative population health indicators such as obesity and diabetes.

To better understand the contributing factors that lead to high rates of infant mortality in the South, researchers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Maternal and Child Health Bureau analyzed the most recent National Center for Health Statistics Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Files from 2007-2009. The goal of the research was to gain an understanding of the principal conditions and factors that contribute to excess infant mortality rates (IMRs) including race, underlying cause of death, and gestational age. Their findings are published in a new study in the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Overall U.S. IMR for 2007-2009 was 6.59 per 1000 live births. After in-depth data analysis, investigators found that annually there were 1.18 excess infant deaths per 1000 live births in the South, which represents a total of about 1600 excess infant deaths per year, and 5018 excess infant deaths between 2007 and 2009.

"Overall, prematurity, congenital anomalies, and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) were the three leading causes of death in the South and the rest of the U.S. However, SUID and preterm-related death were the largest causes of excess infant mortality in the South compared to other regions," says lead investigator Ashley H. Hirai, PhD.

The study also found that race played a pivotal role in the high IMRs found in the south, but that various groups impacted states differently. "For example, the majority of excess infant mortality was due to higher mortality rates among non-Hispanic white infants in Kentucky and Oklahoma," explains Dr. Hirai. "Conversely, a majority of excess infant mortality in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Louisiana could be explained by compositional differences due to a larger proportion of non-Hispanic black births, which reflects a persistent racial gap that exists across the country."

Investigators wanted to pinpoint the factors contributing to high IMRs in the South to help policy makers form successful reduction strategies. Promoting safe sleep practices in hospitals and communities, and preventing and treating chronic conditions before and between pregnancies are just some of the steps that can be taken to address the higher infant mortality rates in the U.S. South. The researchers highlighted the importance of state data systems to recognize needs and priorities among various risk and protective factors that can be targeted for intervention.

"To reduce excess Southern infant mortality, comprehensive strategies addressing SUID and preterm birth for both non-Hispanic black and white births are needed, with state-level findings used to tailor state-specific efforts," concludes Dr. Hirai. "These findings can be used to inform the prioritization of strategies within the new infant mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) that originated in the South and through other public and private efforts to improve birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality at local and national levels."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ashley H. Hirai, PhD; William M. Sappenfield, MD, MPH; Michael D. Kogan, PhD; Wanda D. Barfield, MD, MPH; David A. Goodman, PhD; Reem M. Ghandour, DrPH; Michael C. Lu, MD, MPH. Contributors to Excess Infant Mortality in the U.S. South. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, February 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.12.006

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "New study explores contributors to excess infant mortality in the U.S. south." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204074039.htm>.
Elsevier. (2014, February 4). New study explores contributors to excess infant mortality in the U.S. south. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204074039.htm
Elsevier. "New study explores contributors to excess infant mortality in the U.S. south." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204074039.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins