Thursday, October 16, 2008

Backing it up

Here is some data that reflects my previous claim that the despicable US infant mortality statistics are at least in part driven by high inequity.

The CDC reports in Recent Trends in Infant Mortality in the United States that,
"The infant mortality rate for non-Hispanic black women was 2.4 times the rate for non-Hispanic white women. In 2005, the infant mortality rate for non-Hispanic black women was 13.63 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to a rate of 5.76 for non-Hispanic white women. Rates were also higher for Puerto Rican and American Indian women, 8.30 and 8.06 respectively."
And in another paper, Trends in Preterm-Related Infant Mortality by Race and Ethnicity: United States, 1999-2004, they present this data:

This clearly shows significant differences in infant mortality between mothers of different ethnic/racial backgrounds: Non-hispanic black women have the highest rate of infant mortality, followed by Native American Indian and Puerto Rican women.

While I think that it is important to look at these data through a racial/ethnic filter, I think that a more interesting and telling analysis would be to look at it in terms of annual income. I think that there will be a much stronger correlation between income and infant mortality than race and infant mortality. The tragic reality in our nation though, is that one can often act as a proxy for the other...

Again, if anyone has any good data linking socioeconomic status to infant mortality, I'd like to see it!


Anonymous said...

Two great reads on this topic: Michael Marmot's book, "The Status Syndrome." And, the Sep/Oct 2007 edition of Health Affairs, if you have access to it. Both speak to the issue of SES/income and health status, and Marmot's book is a particularly well-researched and compelling read. I can't recall right now whether they specifically address infant mortality rates, but they are thought-provoking reads nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jon,
Can you tell me what happened to Colleen's blog access? And how do I contact someone to get access? I can't find in google a place that identifies a phone number to talk to a real person. Thanks, Colleen's mom, Sharon

jshaffer said...

Hey Sharon,

I'm guessing that Colleen set her blog page to a private setting, where you have to be invited to view it. I would recommend shooting her an email to see how you can get access to it. Let me know if that helps!