Child Health Topics

Infant Health

The rate of preterm births in the United States is a growing public health problem. Premature births, defined as births occurring before 37 weeks of gestation, accountExternal Link for 11.55 percent of all births in the US; they are also a major contributor to infant mortality. On average, 6.15 out of every 1,000 babies born in the US diesExternal Link before his or her first birthday, giving the US one of the highest rates of infant mortality of all industrialized nations.

What NICHQ is Doing

Through multiple projects, NICHQ has worked to develop, implement and evaluate sustainable approaches to improving systems of care that contribute to infant mortality rates.

Towards a National Strategy

In January 2013, the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM) released a report detailing their recommendations for the framework of the first-ever National Strategy to Reduce Infant MortalityExternal Link. One of NICHQ’s infant health projects, the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to Reduce Infant Mortality, is part of the strategy recommendations.


About Infant Mortality Rates

The death of a baby before his or her first birthday is called infant mortality. The infant mortality rate is an estimate of the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a nation, because factors affecting the health of entire populations can also impact the mortality rate of infants.

There are obvious differences in infant mortality by age, race, and ethnicity; for instance, the mortality rate for non-Hispanic black infants is more than twice that of non-Hispanic white infants.

Source: CDCExternal Link