U.S. loses more ground on baby deaths

ATLANTA, GA.; October 15, 2008 The United States ranked 29th in the world in infant mortality in 2004, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics. The report puts America further behind other industrialized nations in this vital measure. The U.S. infant mortality rate was 6.78 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 - the last year for which statistics are available. And there was no drop in the death rate from 2000 to 2005, due largely to increases in pre-term births, and the complications from it. That compares to past rankings, which put the nation 27th in 2000, 23rd in 1990 and 12th in 1960. Infant mortality rates were generally lowest (below 3.5 per 1,000) in selected Scandinavian (Sweden, Norway, Finland) and East Asian (Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore) countries. Twenty-two countries had infant mortality rates below 5.0 in 2004. The current U.S. infant mortality rate is about 50 percent higher than the national goal of 4.5 infant deaths per 1,000 births The infant mortality rate for non-Hispanic black women was 2.4 times the rate for non-Hispanic white women. In 2005, the infant mortality rate for non-Hispanic black women was 13.63 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to a rate of 5.76 for non-Hispanic white women. Rates were also higher for Puerto Rican and American Indian women, 8.30 and 8.06 respectively. The full report is available at CDC National Center for Health Statistics,\a>.