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Infant mortality rate low in New York — but problems still exist

Compared to other states in the U.S., the infant mortality rate in New York is quite low. In fact, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York’s infant mortality rate was only 4.72 deaths per 1,000 births from 2013 through 2015, which was the eight lowest in the nation.

Not only is this rate lower than the national average of 5.89 deaths per 1,000 births, but it is also significantly lower than many other states, including Mississippi, which had the highest infant mortality rate of 9.08 deaths per 1,000 births.

Despite these numbers, however, there is still cause for concern in New York, particularly when it comes to the mortality rates of certain minority groups. For instance, the CDC report shows that the infant mortality rate for Non-Hispanic black children in New York was 8.77 deaths per 1,000 births — almost twice the rate for the state as a whole.

While some of this gap can be explained by differences in birth weights and earlier-term births, some have theorized that there may also be socio-economic and social justice factors at play.

Some of the underlying causes of infant mortality

While there are many variables and factors that may come into play when discussing the causes of infant mortality, the leading five causes, according to the CDC, include:

  • Low birth weight and preterm birth
  • Birth defects
  • Injuries, including birth-related injuries
  • Maternal pregnancy complications
  • Sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS

While there are things that parents can do to help reduce the risk of some of these issues — particularly SIDS — sadly, many of these issues are simply out of the parents’ control. For instance, there is little parents can do when their child is the victim of negligence on the part of their doctor.

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