Study Of Infant Deaths in Missouri

State of Missouri, Mar 30, 2007

Infant mortality has declined from 77.8 per 1,000 live births in 1915 to 7.2 for the year 2000. Many of the infant deaths at the beginning of the twentieth century were associated with infections (e.g. diarrhea and enteritis, influenza and pneumonia, bronchitis & bronchopneumonia and whooping cough).1 The advent of better sanitation (including safe milk), vaccinations, and antibiotics have helped reduce infant mortality due to these and other infectious conditions.

The National Infant Mortality Surveillance (NIMS) groupings of underlying causes of death was used to acquire a better understanding of causes of infant mortality at the end of the twentieth century. Missouri resident infant deaths for the 1994-1999 birth cohort was the examined population. Because of small numbers for some of the causes of death groupings, six years of deaths were used. The NIMS death groupings are: perinatal conditions (referring to the time of disease onset rather than the age of death), infections (both perinatal and other), congenital anomalies, injuries, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), cardiac or respiratory arrest and other nonspecific or unknown causes, and all other causes (e.g. neoplasm, endocrine and immunity diseases, and diseases of the nervous system). Maternal race and infant birth weight were also reviewed to acquire insight into the relationship of the NIMS groupings with these factors.

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