The term “infant mortality” refers to all deaths that occur within the first year of life, excluding fetal deaths by miscarriages and abortions.
Infant mortality is frequently used to compare the overall health and well-being of populations across the United States and throughout the world. It has proven to be an accurate predictor of the state of health of a given area, population, or nation due to the number of contributing factors involved.
According to the United Health Foundation’s 2007 report, Louisiana is ranked 49th out of 50 states for its infant mortality rate, which is 9.9 deaths per 1,000 live births . The national infant mortality rate was 6.4 per 1,000 live births in 2003.
Many factors surrounding the conditions of birth contribute to infant mortality including the mother’s health, prenatal care and the overall quality of healthcare received by the mother and child. Socioeconomic status, education level and access to healthcare are also considered to be determining factors of infant mortality.
Various education and care programs have been shown to counteract disparities in infant mortality rate and reduce the overall rate.
For more information on infant mortality, visit the March of Dimes.
For more information on LPHI's work related to Maternal and Child Health, visit this page.