Leading Causes of Death in Infants

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The Leading Causes of Infant Deaths "Infant mortality (as defined by Wikipedia Encyclopedia) is the death of infants in the first year of life." Infant mortality deaths can be caused by several different factors including health of the mother, health practices, and living conditions of the mother. "In the United States, about two-thirds of infant deaths occur in the first month after birth and are due mostly to health problems of the infant or the pregnancy such as preterm delivery or birth defects"(www.childstats.gov).
The Five Leading Causes of Infant Death "The five leading causes of infant death in the United States are birth defects; prematurity/low birth weight; SIDS, maternal complications of pregnancy and respiratory distress syndrome"(National Center for Health Statistics). After researching the five leading causes of infant death, birth defects are established as the number one cause of infant death in the United States. This is a broad category, and there are many different birth defects that may contribute to the death of an infant. The March of Dimes defines birth defects as "an abnormality of structure, function or body metabolism presenting at birth or early childhood that results in physical or mental disability, or is fatal." There are a couple of different contributors to genetic birth defects. Some birth defects stem from a person 's ancestry. For example, Tay-Sachs is a genetic disorder mostly found in those of Jewish descent. In some instances a child may inherit one or more faulty genes from one or both parents, resulting in a birth defect of some sort. "Down-Syndrome, in which a baby is born with an extra chromosome 21, is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities." (www.marchofdimes.com) There are other factors which can contribute to an infant being born with birth defects. If the mother has abused drugs or alcohol, exposure to certain medications and other environmental factors can just as easily contribute to the



References: National Center for Health Statistics. final natality data for 2000. Prepared by March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center, 2002. National Center for Health Statistics. Final Mortality data, 1990-1994, and period linked birth/infant death data, 1995-2001.

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