Why is the U.S. Infant Mortality Rate So High?

High rates of premature birth are the main reason the United States has higher infant mortality than do many other rich countries… If the United States could match Sweden’s prematurity rate, the new [CDC] report said, “nearly 8,000 infant deaths would be averted each year, and the U.S. infant mortality rate would be one-third lower.”

[But, once born,] premature infants in the United States are more likely to survive than those elsewhere.

New York Times story here.

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Joe S. says:

    Thanks for this post. There is so much nonsense written and repeated again and again about infant mortality rates. This sheds needed light on the subject.

  2. Nancy says:

    Very useful information. Thanks.

  3. Ken says:

    We keep hearing that US care is inferior because of our high infant mortlity rates. This clears things up. Especially the fact that if you are born premature, your chances of survival are best in the United States.

  4. Vicki says:

    I always suspected that a baby born with a problem has a better chance of survival here. Glad to see that confirmed.

  5. Charlie says:

    Good number.

  6. Devon Herrick says:

    Nicholas Eberstadt (AEI) wrote The Tyranny of Numbers, a good book that explains the bogus way people misuse vital statistics to make U.S. health care look inferior to other advanced countries. What counts as a still birth, an infant death and a miscarriage is measured differently in some European countries. Also, certain ethnic groups are probably more prone to premature births – which are the cause of low-birth weight babies (who are more apt to die). Lifestyle can also be a factor.

  7. problem77 says:

    I like your style of expressing thoughts.