Infant Mortality and Maternal Risk Factors in Texas: Highlighting Zip Code Variations in 2 At-Risk Counties, 2011–2015
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Infant Mortality and Maternal Risk Factors in Texas: Highlighting Zip Code Variations in 2 At-Risk Counties, 2011–2015

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Prev Chronic Dis
    • Description:

      Stark differences in the infant mortality rate (IMR) exist by geography in Texas. The Healthy Families initiative sought to understand how evidence-informed practices implemented in the community can improve pregnancy-related outcomes in 2 counties in Texas with a high prevalence of maternal chronic conditions. The objective of this study was to examine associations between maternal risk factors and infant deaths to inform strategies to improve outcomes.


      Two counties with high prevalence of maternal chronic conditions were selected as Healthy Families sites: one with lower prenatal care usage than other counties in the state but an IMR lower than Texas, and the other with a higher IMR among minority racial and ethnic groups compared with other women in the county and Texas overall. Cohort-linked birth and infant death records from 2011 through 2015 provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services were analyzed by using logistic regression to examine associations of maternal sociodemographic and pregnancy risk factors with infant death. The data were mapped at the zip code level. Analyses were limited to births to women aged 15 to 49 years who resided in Texas from 2011 through 2015 (n = 1,942,899 births).


      The Texas IMR was 5.4 per 1,000 live births, compared with 4.6 and 7.5 per 1,000 live births for Hidalgo and Smith counties, respectively. Congenital malformations were the leading cause of infant death in both counties for infants born in 2015, which was similar to Texas overall. In both counties, maternal marital status, education, multiple gestation, and cesarean delivery were significantly associated with infant mortality. Wide zip code–level variations in IMR and maternal risk factors were observed in both counties.


      Variations in IMR and key maternal risk factors observed at the zip code level helped drive local strategies to maximize outreach of services to disproportionately affected communities.

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