The Socioeconomic Group Related to Infant Mortality

Topics: Infant mortality, United States, Perinatal mortality Pages: 3 (963 words) Published: February 11, 2007
The Socioeconomic Group related to Infant Mortality

Despite the United States infant mortality rate decline in recent decades, the gap between those who experience infant mortality is far too discriminative and only has potential for a greater increase over time. Infant mortality is the death of an infant within the first year of life. This includes perinatal mortality, which are deaths only between the foetal viability and the end of the 7th day after delivery, neonatal mortality, which is death in the first 27 days of life, and post-neonatal death, which consists of deaths after the first 28 days of life but before one year. Infant mortality rate, or IMR, is the number of newborns dying under a year of age divided by the number of live births during the year. Infant mortality has claimed a vast percentage of children born in the past in the U.S., but due to technological advances and improvements in basic health care, the percentages have dropped immensely. However, these percentages are still higher in comparison to other developed nations even with significantly lower gross national products per capita, such as Spain and Ireland (Bilheimer, p. 3). The infant mortality rate is a common evaluation tool in determining whether a country or specific state has adequate living conditions and the status on their present economic situations. The IMR "is regarded as one of the most revealing measures of how well a society is meeting the needs of its people" (Cramer, p.299).

The three leading causes of infant death were congenital malformations, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which together accounted for about 45% of all infant deaths. Low birth weight is the primary risk factor for infant mortality and most of the decline in neonatal mortality in the United States since 1970 can be attributed to increased rates of survival among low-birth weight newborns. The United States infant mortality problem primarily exists because of its...

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