Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Resources
Basic Information
Infant Development: How Your Baby Grows and MaturesInfant Parenting: Keeping Your Baby Healthy and HappyInfant Safety: Keeping Your Baby SafeInfant Enrichment: Stimulating Your Baby
More InformationLatest News
Zika Babies Facing Increasing Health Problems With AgeNearby Fracking Linked to Low Birth WeightsWindow Blinds: A Silent Killer in Your HomeHealth Tip: Starting a Tooth Brushing Routine EarlyWhen a Preemie Goes Home, Dad Stresses OutState Newborn Screening Policies Cut Infant Cardiac DeathsLock Eyes With Your Baby, Synchronize Brain Waves?Newborns in Pain Might Not Show ItHealth Tip: Childproof Your HomePractice Variation in Treatment for Bronchiolitis in InfantsHealth Tip: How to Clean a Breast PumpBabies Start Connecting Words Early OnHealth Tip: Infant Medication Advice For New MomsHow to Spot the Virus That Puts Some Babies in the HospitalProlonged Breast-Feeding May Guard Against Teen EczemaVaccination Coverage High for Children Aged 19 to 35 MonthsU.S. Preemie Birth Rates Rise 2 Years in a RowDelayed Cord Clamping Not Beneficial for Preterm InfantsEven Partial Breast-Feeding for First Few Months Lowers SIDS RiskHealth Tip: Sleep Train Your BabyACAAI: Doctors Not Adhering to New Peanut GuidelinesHypothermia May Help Newborns With EncephalopathyOb/Gyns Warn Against 'Vaginal Seeding' Trend for NewbornsKids, Don't Touch the Toys at the Doctor's OfficeCDC Updates Zika Guidance for Infant CareHigher Doses of Vitamin D May Boost Preemies' Bone HealthHealth Tip: Avoid Baby Sleep PositionersHelping Preemies Avoid Unnecessary AntibioticsProtecting Preemies From Stress Might Improve Later Mental Health'Sleep Positioners' a Danger to Baby: FDAClinical Exome Sequencing Useful for Critically Ill InfantsTdap Given in Pregnancy Protects Infants From PertussisWhooping Cough Shot Works, But Many Moms-to-Be Skip It: CDCHealth Tip: Breast-feeding May Help TeethHeart-Lung Fitness Challenged in Early Full-Term BabiesHealth Tip: Is Your Baby Teething?Pediatricians Increasingly Aligned With Breastfeeding GuidelinesHigher Cigarette Taxes May Mean Fewer Infant DeathsHealth Tip: Design a Non-Toxic NurseryParents Getting Better at Using Car Seats SafelyVision Problems Common in Babies Infected With Zika'Modest at Best' Discriminatory Ability for CBC Test in InfantsDoes General Anesthesia Affect Babies' Brains?Health Tip: Avoid Juice Before Age 1Race/Ethnicity Shown to Factor Into Quality of Care in NICUHep B Vaccine Should Be Given Sooner: Pediatricians GroupSome Newborns Don't Get Heart Defect, Hearing Loss TestsAnti-Vaccine Info in Pregnancy May Delay Infant ImmunizationToo Many Babies Still Placed on Stomach to Sleep: StudyAnti-Vaccine Family Members, Friends Spur Many Moms to Delay Baby's Shots
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)

Widening 'Race Gap' in U.S. Infant Deaths

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jul 3rd 2017

new article illustration

MONDAY, July 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The death rate for black infants in the United States has risen in recent years, while the rate for white infants continues to decline, a new study finds.

"The sustained progress in reducing infant mortality among black infants since 2005 has stalled in the past few years. This has led to increases in the absolute inequality in infant mortality between black and white infants during the past three years," said a team led by Corinne Riddell of McGill University in Montreal.

One U.S. pediatrician who reviewed the findings said it's unclear why this racial gap in infant deaths is widening.

"Infant mortality and racial disparities in this outcome are very complex phenomena, and seem to involve both medical care access and other social factors," said Dr. Michael Grosso, chair of pediatrics at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.

"We should also wonder whether the rise of opiate and other substance abuse may have indirectly contributed to the rising death rate among infants of color," Grosso added.

The new study looked at 2005-2015 data from a major U.S. government database. Riddell's team found that the death rate for black infants fell from 14.3 to 11.6 per 1,000 births between 2005 to 2012, then plateaued, and then increased -- from 11.4 to 11.7 per 1,000 births between 2014 to 2015.

At the same time, the death rate among white infants declined from 5.7 to 4.8 per 1,000 births between 2005 to 2015, according to the findings published July 3 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Between 2005 and 2011, deaths from premature birth/low birthweight fell for black infants, but then plateaued in recent years.

For the other leading causes of death -- birth defects, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and maternal complications -- rates among black and white infants declined overall between 2005 to 2015. However, death rates from both SIDS and birth defects began to rise again for black infants from 2014 to 2015.

No single cause of death appears solely responsible for the recent increase in the death rate among black infants, Riddell's group said.

According to Grosso, prior research has shown that "racial inequality in employment and education each correlated with infant mortality differences" between black and white babies.

"More study is needed," he said, "as is public policy that aims at reducing, rather than increasing, disparities in access, wealth and health."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on infant deaths.