In their investigation of U.S. maternal mortality, NPR and ProPublica collected more than 200 stories from African American mothers and discovered that feeling devalued and disrespected by medical providers was a unifying theme.61 Mothers also frequently reported that medical staff did not take their pain seriously, consistent with earlier studies that found pain is often undertreated in African American patients.62, Advocates, practitioners, and policymakers are spearheading efforts to raise awareness and address the dire state of maternal and infant mortality in the United States. Indeed, studies show that African American teen mothers have lower infant mortality rates than African American mothers in their twenties.50 Since the births of young mothers are generally associated with poor health outcomes,51 this is a surprising finding and has been taken as strong evidence for the weathering52 hypothesis—the idea that cumulative stress negatively affects African American women’s health. The infant mortality rate for black women's babies was 10.97 in 2017 – more than twice the rates among white, Asian and Hispanic women, who saw rates of … Most women deliver in their homes as medical centers are not available. Infant mortality is the death of an infant before his or her first birthday. Program: Women Inspired Neighborhood Network Black-White Infant Mortality Gap Report March 2018 Indeed, one study showed that after controlling for income; gestational age; and maternal age and health status, the odds of dying from pregnancy or delivery complications were almost three times higher for African American women than they were for non-Hispanic white women.21 Relatedly, another analysis, controlling for the same factors, showed that college-educated African American women were almost three times more likely to lose their infants than their similarly educated non-Hispanic white peers.22, Early and adequate prenatal care is designed to promote healthy pregnancies and reduce maternal and infant mortality through maternal health screening, parent education, and counseling on healthy behaviors.23 Although research shows that a lower percentage of African American women have access to prenatal care than do non-Hispanic white women, differences in prenatal care access fail to explain any racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality.24 In fact, African American women who initiated prenatal care in the first trimester still had higher rates of infant mortality than non-Hispanic white women with late or no prenatal care.25. African-American mothers' persistent excessive maternal death rates. NOTE: The information regarding Infant mortality rate - total (deaths/1,000 live births) on this page is re-published from the CIA World Factbook 2018. Nearly all states have racial disparities when it comes to infant mortality, but Wisconsin has the nation’s highest gap between white and black babies. However, as disparities between non-Hispanic white and African American women are largest and most consistent, the authors focus on this disparity. Numerous studies show that after controlling for education and socioeconomic status, African American women remain at higher risk for maternal and infant mortality. For example, Native American and Alaska Native women are about 1.5 times as likely to lose an infant before its first birthday. In 2018, the most recent year for which data was available, the infant mortality rate for black babies in Detroit was 15.9 while for white babies it was 7.1. Because black women experience the highest infant mortality rates among any racial or ethnic group in the United States, the authors stress that to decrease the IMR, long-standing factors that promote these disparities must be addressed directly. Although the overall infant mortality rate for Ramsey County approaches the Healthy People 2020 target, the infant mortality rate 2014-2016 for infants born to African-American/African women was 11.5 per 1000, significantly higher than the rate of 4.3 for white infants. Four months later, she suffered another heart attack. African Americans had over twice the sudden infant death syndrome mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites, in 2017. Mortality rates for Asians and Data from 2011-2015 show that the infant mortality rate for American Indians (10.4) and for African Americans (9.6) was more than double the rate for whites (4.2). The infant mortality rate in Guinea-Bissau ranks third in Africa with an approximate rate of 86 out of ,1000 live births. There was a slight decline in Ohio's infant mortality rate from 7.4 per 1,000 live births in 2016 to 7.2 in 2017. (791.9/100,000) . Download Historical Data Save as Image. Served 364 African-American women between the ages of 18-34, having zero preventable infant deaths and better-than-average rates of pre-term and low-birthweight deliveries. According to the latest estimates, the US currently ranks 44th among 199 countries of all income levels, with an infant mortality rate of 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015, about 3 times the rate observed for countries at the very top of the ranking . Jamila Taylor is a senior fellow at the Center. Between 2006-2018 the white infant mortality rate has declined slightly, while the black rate has declined by 25% due to a reduction of infant deaths since 2005. One would therefore expect women spared the stresses of American racial inequality during sensitive early developmental periods to have better outcomes. The 14.5% infant mortality rate decline from 11.7 to 10.0 in African American infants in Medicaid expansion states was more than twice that in non-Medicaid expansion states (6.6%: 12.2 to 11.4; P = .012). Finally, note that America Health Rankings puts the overall infant mortality rate for Ohio at 7 per 1000 live births, suggesting that blacks have an infant mortality rate of only two times that of the general population. The overall infant mortality rate in 2013 was 7.2 deaths per 1000 live births, but for Black infants, the rate … Table 2. Protecting the health of mothers and infants is a critical measure of a country’s development. Although no single cause for the decline was found, a number of factors may be contributing, such as: African-American babies born in Wisconsin die before age 1 at a higher rate than any other state in the nation, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Governor Cooper’s Early Childhood Action Plan set a goal for reducing the statewide infant mortality … Infant Mortality Among African Americans Project. Recent studies have also shown that, in Texas, deep funding cuts to family planning services correlated with dramatic increases in the maternal mortality rate. The United States has a dismal track record when it comes to maternal and infant mortality. These risk factors55 include, but are not limited to: Although evidence suggests that maternal and infant mortality are greatly influenced by mothers’ life circumstances growing up, health care institutions often deepen racial disparities. Guinea-Bissau - 86 per 1,000. The infant mortality rate (IMR) among New Jersey residents remains below the national rate. This may partly be due to differing quality of prenatal care. Most women deliver in their homes as medical centers are not available. However, these changes only partly explain the growing number of recorded maternal deaths in the last decades. The toll of infant mortality on a community is measured using the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). Between 2016-2018, the rate increased to 12.2 deaths per 1,000 births. Infant mortality is the death of an infant before their first birthday. This fact embodies the country’s struggle with racism. Infant Mortality Rates” (Atlanta: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011), available at, California Newsreel, “How Racism Impacts Pregnancy Outcomes,” YouTube, October 22, 2014, available at, Rob Haskell, “Serena Williams on Motherhood, Marriage, and Making Her Comeback,”, Nina Martin and Renee Montagne, “Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth,” ProPublica, December 7, 2017 available at, Michael C. Lu and Neal Halfon, “Racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes: A life-course perspective,”, Because countries have different methods for reporting maternal mortality, there is some discrepancy in the magnitude of these differences. Smoking and drug abuse are risk behaviors that strongly predict preterm delivery, low birth weight,26 and sudden infant death syndrome.27 However, several studies show that African American women are less likely to report smoking cigarettes than are non-Hispanic white women, and they are also no more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs during their pregnancy.28. It is racism, not race itself, that threatens the lives of African American women and infants. Shortly after giving birth to her son in August 2017, 27-year-old activist and Black Lives Matter icon Erica Garner suffered her first heart attack. policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all 2007 and 2012, the state infant mortality rate has crept up slightly in the past few years. Conduct comprehensive, nationwide data collection on maternal deaths and complications—with data disaggregated by race, geography, and socioeconomic status. Although numerous physical health behaviors and conditions influence maternal and birth outcomes, behavioral interventions often focus on two behaviors: smoking and drug abuse and obesity. The infant mortality rate for South Africa in 2019 was 26.505 deaths per 1000 live births, a 2.69% decline from 2018. Governor Cooper’s Early Childhood Action Plan set a goal for reducing the statewide infant mortality disparity ratio from 2.5 to 1.92. See generally MacDorman, M. F., Declercq, E., & Thoma, M. E. (2018). The overall infant mortality rate across the U.S. is 5.7 out of every 1,000 live births. A few states, including California65 and North Carolina,66 have developed health care and research collaborative groups to improve health outcomes for women and infants. The primary cause of infant deaths in the Central African Republic is the absence of health facilities. The state with the lowest rate was New Hampshire, at 3.6 out of 1,000 live births. Conduct better assessments and analysis on the impact of overt and covert racism on toxic stress and pregnancy-related outcomes for women and infants of color. the conversation, but to change the country. Contact Us The overall mortality rate for SCC (788.2/100,000) was similar to mortality rates for Illinois (798.6/100,000) and the U .S . Table 2. This seems to be the case, as black immigrant women—mostly from African and Caribbean countries—who arrived in the United States as adults enjoy better birth outcomes than native-born African American women.49 Similarly, one would also expect better birth outcomes for younger African American women, as they have spent less time exposed to the cumulative stresses of being a person of color in the United States. Although recent attention on cases such as those of Erica Garner and Serena Williams shed light on an important problem, real change will require greater knowledge of why African American women and infants are most likely to die as the result of pregnancy-related complications. The Office of Health Data and Research, through a variety of research methods, seeks to describe the pattern of infant mortality, delineate contributing factors, and identify strategies for reducing Mississippi's infant mortality rate. The African American infant mortality rate reached an all-time low, decreasing by 9% since 2016 to 12.2 in 2018, but it is still more than twice the white infant mortality rate at 5.0 in 2018. Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2017 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set. The Health Resources and Services Administration funds these networks.67. The Healthy People 2020 goal is to reduce infant mortality in the U.S. to 6.0 deaths per 1,000 live births by the year 2020. Table 5. One of the Healthy People 2020 objectives is an infant mortality rate of no more than 6.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births by … The infant mortality rate (IMR) is a key national indicator of population health. Infant mortality rate decline was greater in Medicaid expansion states, with greater declines among African American infants. It reviews empirical literature on maternal and infant mortality, concluding that the greater prevalence of maternal health risk factors among African American women cannot account entirely for their higher mortality rates. The ratio between African-American and white infant mortality rates (IMR) in 2013 was 2.1 while the ratio in 2018 was 1.9 which indicates an almost 10% decrease in the ratio between races. In order to address trends in adverse experiences during pregnancy and the postpartum period, policymakers should consider African American women’s lack of access to appropriate mental health care screening and services as well as the link between increased stress and maternal mental health. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_10-508.pdf [474.53KB], Source: CDC 2019. “African-American women have disproportionately high rates of preterm delivery, low birth weight and infant mortality,” Parker Dominguez said. As the African-American infant death rate decreased and the white rate increased, the ratio between black and white rates decreased from 2.5 in 2017 to 1.9 in 2018. Obesity—which is associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia29—predicts both maternal and infant mortality and is more prevalent among African American women.30 Yet a recent study from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene showed that African American women of normal weight were still at higher risk of dying in the perinatal period than non-African American obese women.31 A related study comparing infant mortality rates of obese African American and non-Hispanic white mothers showed that non-Hispanic white women experienced uniformly lower risk.32 Thus, higher rates of obesity among African American women do not explain the racial disparity in infant or maternal mortality. But this approach overlooks an important truth: Healthy, full-term pregnancies and safe labor are more likely to happen when women are physically and mentally healthy before becoming pregnant. Within the U.S., the infant mortality rate varies across place and race. This 5-year project, which ended in July 2020, aimed to address the wide spectrum of factors that contribute to the high infant mortality rate among U.S.-born African Americans living in Hennepin County. Table 5. "It is estimated that the black IMR has been roughly twice that of the white IMR for over 35 years. They … (see text box) Women in the United States are two to three times more likely to die than Canadian women in the maternal period—from the start of pregnancy to one year after delivery or termination.10 Similarly… While differences in maternal mental health may not be enough to explain the gap in birth outcomes between African American women and non-Hispanic white women, they should not be ignored.