Alabama’s Infant Mortality Rate Rises to 8.7 Per 1,000
October 5th, 2011|
October 5, 2011
In the state of Alabama, 8.7 children out of 1,000 born alive in 2010 died before they turned a year old. This figure rose from 8.2 in 2009—meaning 522 Alabama babies died in 2010 compared to 513 babies in 2009.
“I am unhappy that we didn’t continue to go down,” State Health Officer Don Williamson told The Birmingham News. In 2009 Alabama’s infant mortality rate was the lowest ever recorded in the state, and in 2010 it tied Alabama’s second-lowest rates, which were recorded in 2003 and 2004.
Williamson also told the newspaper that he looks for the state to rank among the five worst in infant mortality rates in the 50 states.
Governor Robert Bentley wrote a statement in response to the report, saying, “We need to place additional emphasis on responding to maternal and child health needs to further lessen infant deaths.”
The Birmingham News attributes Alabama’s dismal infant mortality rate to many factors—including race, teen pregnancy, and smoking.
“There are many factors that go into infant mortality, including the racial makeup of Alabama, the obvious lower economic status of many Alabamians, lack of access to health care,” said George C. Smith Jr., a family-practice doctor in Lineville.
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