Wednesday, January 6, 2010
In 2005, the last year for which detailed data is available, the U.S. ranked 30th in infant mortality, behind most European countries. Researchers say that’s due in large part to the high incidence of premature birth. Things in Kentucky aren’t much better; here in the Commonwealth, 1 in every 7 babies is born premature. The infant mortality rate here is 7 in 1,000 – a figure that has held steady for about the last 15 years, despite prevention efforts. And like many health problems, there is racial disparity in perinatal survival rates. This Wednesday we’ll learn more about the causes of infant mortality, how it’s measured, and why the U.S. ranks so poorly in spite of medical advances and campaigns to prevent premature birth.