States Release Data on Infant Mortality, Low Birthweight and Teenage Births Among Minorities
Two states recently released data on infant mortality, low birthweight rates and teenage births among minorities. Summaries of news coverage on the data appear below.
- Maryland: Blacks in Maryland are lagging behind other groups in making progress in reducing teenage births, infant mortality and low birthweight rates, and Hispanics have the highest teenage birth rate in the state, according to a report presented to the state Joint Committee on Children, Youth, and Families on Tuesday, Capital News/Southern Maryland Online reports. According to the report, Maryland's overall teen birth and infant mortality rates have improved since 1997. However, the infant mortality rate among blacks is about twice the rate of all races, and while the teen birth rate fell to 3.4% among all residents, it "skyrocketed" among Hispanics, according to Capital News/Southern Maryland Online. In 2006, about one in 10 Hispanic teenagers between ages 15 and 19 gave birth, according to the report. Maryland Health Secretary John Colmers said the report focused on teen births, infant mortality and low birthweight because they are the "three unambiguous measures of performance" in ensuring healthy infants (Zieminski, Capital News/Southern Maryland Online, 9/5).
- North Carolina: The infant mortality rate among minorities in North Carolina dropped to a historical low in 2006, but racial disparities between blacks and whites still remain, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. The infant mortality rate among minorities has declined consistently for four of the past five years and in 2006 dropped to an all-time low of 13.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. However, the rate is still high compared with a rate of six deaths per 1,000 live births among whites in 2006 (Asheville Citizen-Times, 9/5). Overall, the state's infant mortality rate declined from 8.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 and 2005 to 8.1 deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2006 (Giovanelli, Winston-Salem Journal, 9/6).