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Preemies Raise U.S. Infant Mortality Rate

High Percentage of Premature Births Contributing to Nation's High Infant Mortality Rate, Report Shows

Preterm Births Driving Infant Mortality Rate continued...

Since 1960, the infant mortality rate in the U.S. has been worsening, the researchers report. The U.S. international rate was 12th in 1960, fell to 23rd in 1990, to 29th in 2004 and 30th in 2005. In that year, 22 countries had infant mortality rates of 5.0 or lower per 1,000 live births.

The researchers say that some countries have limits on birth registration requirements, and very small infants who die soon after birth are excluded in some data.

“The majority of infants born at 22-23 weeks of gestation die in their first year of life,” the article says.

Even for full-term infants, the U.S. rate was high at 2.4 per 1,000 births, compared to other countries.

Infant Mortality Rate for Full-Term Births

This list shows infant deaths per 1,000 live births at full-term, or 37 weeks or more.

Finland 1.4

Norway 1.5

Sweden 1.5

Austria 1.5

Northern Ireland 1.6

Scotland 1.7

England and Wales 1.8

Poland 2.3

Denmark 2.3

United States 2.4

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