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Regional differences in birth weight-specific infant mortality, United States, 1980.

  • D M Allen
  • J W Buehler
  • C J Hogue
  • L T Strauss
  • J C Smith
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1987


To describe regional differences in birth weight-specific infant mortality in the United States, we used data from the National Infant Mortality Surveillance project. The infant mortality risk (IMR) for the nation was 11.0 deaths per 1,000 live births. The risk (with 95 percent confidence intervals [CI]) for the four U.S. Census regions were West 9.9 (9.7 to 10.1), Northeast 10.4 (10.1 to 10.6), North Central 10.8 (10.6 to 11.0), and South 12.1 (11.9 to 12.3). In all regions, the IMR for blacks was approximately twice that of whites. Seventy-two percent of the higher IMR in the South was due to a higher proportion of black births compared with the remainder of the nation, reflecting the higher mortality rates suffered by black infants, and 28 percent to higher mortality among southern whites. The IMR for whites in the South was significantly higher than in the remainder of the nation: 9.8 versus 9.1 (relative risk = 1.09, CI = 1.06 to 1.11). Thirty-six percent of this excess in IMR was due to a higher frequency of low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams), 18 percent was due to higher IMR in infants with birth weight less than 2,500 grams, and 46 percent due to higher IMR in infants with birth weights of 2,500 g or more. Black infants born in the West had a lower risk of death than black infants in the other regions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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