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Ohio's Infant Mortality Rate Declined In 2018

Feb 27, 2020

Ohio has ranked near the bottom of states on infant mortality. 

The latest figures show the infant mortality rate is dropping, but a large racial gap remains. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Department of Health medical director Mark Hurst says the number of infants who died before their first birthdays in 2018 dropped 4 percent from the year before.

“This decrease was due to a substantial drop in black infant mortality rate for the first time in five years.”

 

But black infants are still up to three times as likely to die as white infants. Hurst says fewer babies died from being born too early, but…

 

“Prematurity-related conditions remain the leading cause of infant death in Ohio, comprising almost one-third of deaths.”

2/3 of all infant deaths were in the state’s nine most populous counties. One in five infants had fatal birth defects, 10 percent died from external injuries and 8 percent from sudden infant death syndrome.