US infant mortality rates experience 15 percent decline

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest report on infant mortality in the U.S., and the news is good.

The study represents an examination of live births occurring in the country between 2005 and 2014.

Overall, rates of infants dying within the first year of their lives dropped by 15 percent between the start and end dates of the report period.

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Declines were also seen in 4 of the 5 most common causes of death: congenital malformations, short gestation and low birth weight, SIDS, and maternal complications.

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Fatalities linked to unintentional injuries increased by roughly 11 percent.

While infant mortality dropped among various racial and ethnic groups, the changes were more pronounced in some than others.

The greatest drop, at 21 percent, was observed among women of Asian or Pacific Islander descent.

While the report is certainly encouraging, Dr. Paul Jarris, chief medical officer of the March of Dimes, warns against thinking the problem is solved.

He commented, "In terms of preterm birth and infant mortality, the United States has the highest rates of any of the developed nations. Our rates are more similar to that of developing nations. So the message, from my point of view, is that we cannot be complacent."

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