States Release Data On Infant Mortality, Low Birthweight, Teenage Births Among Minorities

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Two states recently released data on infant mortality, lowbirthweight rates and teenage births among minorities. Summaries ofnews coverage on the data appear below.

  • Maryland:Blacks in Maryland are lagging behind other groups in making progressin reducing teenage births, infant mortality and low birthweight rates,and Hispanics have the highest teenage birth rate in the state,according to a report presented to the state Joint Committee on Children, Youth, and Families on Tuesday, Capital News/Southern Maryland Onlinereports. According to the report, Maryland's overall teen birth andinfant mortality rates have improved since 1997. However, the infantmortality rate among blacks is about twice the rate of all races, andwhile the teen birth rate fell to 3.4% among all residents, it"skyrocketed" among Hispanics, according to Capital News/Southern Maryland Online.In 2006, about one in 10 Hispanic teenagers between ages 15 and 19 gavebirth, according to the report. Maryland Health Secretary John Colmerssaid the report focused on teen births, infant mortality and lowbirthweight because they are the "three unambiguous measures ofperformance" in ensuring healthy infants (Zieminski, Capital News/Southern Maryland Online, 9/5).
  • NorthCarolina: The infant mortality rate among minorities in North Carolinadropped to a historical low in 2006, but racial disparities betweenblacks and whites still remain, the Asheville Citizen-Timesreports. The infant mortality rate among minorities has declinedconsistently for four of the past five years and in 2006 dropped to anall-time low of 13.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. However, the rate isstill high compared with a rate of six deaths per 1,000 live birthsamong whites in 2006 (Asheville Citizen-Times, 9/5).Overall, the state's infant mortality rate declined from 8.8 deaths per1,000 live births in 2004 and 2005 to 8.1 deaths for every 1,000 livebirths in 2006 (Giovanelli, Winston-Salem Journal, 9/6).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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