Babies in U.S. More Likely to Die than Those in Cuba or Europe

Monday, December 28, 2009

High death rates among newborn children have historically been a problem associated with the developing world. But the United States finds itself experiencing a higher infant mortality rate (defined as deaths in the first year of life, per 1,000 live births) than Cuba or many European nations. According to numbers compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. rate in 2005 was 6.9, compared to Cuba’s 6.2 or Poland’s 6.4. The frequency of newborns dying in the U.S. was more than three times that of Singapore (2.1).

A big reason why the U.S. infant mortality rate has gone up is because more American mothers are giving birth to premature babies. America’s preterm birth rate (defined as those born between 22 and 36 weeks of gestation) in 2004 was 12.4—considerably higher than that in Ireland (5.5), Finland (5.6), Greece (6.0) and Slovakia (6.3).
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Where the Youngest Die More (by Philip Cohen, Family Inequality)
Behind International Rankings of Infant Mortality: How the United States Compares with Europe (by Marian F. MacDorman and T.J. Mathews, NCHS Data Brief) (pdf)


The_Monsoon 14 years ago
Before you make claims like this you should compare apples to apples instead of apples to pianos. To those that are comparing Cuba (or other countries) to the U.S. on infant mortality. Do some research before you just go by the numbers. The U.S. keeps very detailed records and doesn't completely follow the WHO and records births (like those weighing below a certain threshold)where as other countries do not. U.S. doctors will try to save a child that is born very premature where as other countries do not (and wouldn't even think about trying). The U.S. counts those as live births where-as other countries (like Cuba) do not. If you were to campare apples to apples the U.S. numbers would stomp those of Cuba and other countries.

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