US infant mortality rates rise for first time in over 20 years

by IANS |

Washington, Nov 2 (IANS) The US has witnessed an increase in infant mortality rates in 2022, for the first time in more than two decades, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

An estimated 20,538 US infants died in 2022, a 3 per cent increase from the 19,928 deaths in 2021, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

It was the first year-on-year increase in the rate since 2001 to 2022.

The mortality rate of infants who died at less than 28 days increased by 3 per cent, while the mortality rate for infants who died from 28 through 364 days increased by 4 per cent.

Infant deaths due to maternal complications - like preeclampsia or preterm delivery - and bacterial sepsis also shot up by 8 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

"The reported increase in infant mortality rates is disturbing and disappointing. We live in a country with abundant resources. Yet the infant mortality rate in the UnS is shockingly high," said Sandy L. Chung, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"There are many different reasons for this. We do know that families in poverty face many challenges including access to nutritious food and affordable healthcare.

Racial and ethnic disparities related to accessible healthcare - including prenatal health services - are just one of the many possible reasons for lower birth weights of babies and sometimes, infant deaths," Chung added. 

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