Infant mortality in the United States, 2017 : data from the period linked birth/infant death file
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Infant mortality in the United States, 2017 : data from the period linked birth/infant death file

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      Objectives—This report presents 2017 infant mortality statistics by age at death, maternal race and Hispanic origin, maternal age, maternal state of residence, gestational age, and leading causes of death. Trends in infant mortality are also examined.

      Methods—Descriptive tabulations of data are presented and interpreted for infant deaths and infant mortality rates using the 2017 period linked birth/infant death file; the linked birth/infant death file is based on birth and death certificates registered in all states and the District of Columbia.

      Results—A total of 22,341 infant deaths were reported in the United States in 2017. The U.S. infant mortality rate was 5.79 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, not statistically different from the rate of 5.87 in 2016. The neonatal and postneonatal mortality rates for 2017 (3.85 and 1.94, respectively) were also essentially unchanged from 2016. The 2017 infant mortality rate for infants of non-Hispanic black women (10.97) was more than twice as high as that for infants of non-Hispanic white (4.67), non-Hispanic Asian (3.78), and Hispanic (5.10) women. Infant mortality rates by state for 2017 ranged from a low of 3.66 in Massachusetts to a high of 8.73 in Mississippi. Infants born very preterm (less than 28 weeks of gestation) had the highest mortality rate (384.39), 183 times as high as that for infants born at term (37–41 weeks of gestation) (2.10). The five leading causes of infant death in 2017 were the same as in 2016; cause of death rankings and mortality rates varied by maternal race and Hispanic origin. Preterm-related causes of death accounted for 34% of the 2017 infant deaths, unchanged from 2016.

      Suggested citation: Ely DM, Driscoll AK. Infant mortality in the United States, 2017: Data from the period linked birth/infant death file. National Vital Statistics Reports, vol 68 no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2019.



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