Infant mortality by source of payment and race

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Why This Indicator Matters

The infant mortality rate is an important indicator of the overall well-being of a society. Infant mortality is related to the underlying health of the mother, public health practices, socioeconomic conditions and availability and use of appropriate health care for infants and pregnant women. The primary causes of infant mortality are birth defects, disorders related to short gestation/low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and issues related to pregnancy and birth, including substance abuse. Since mothers and infants are among the most vulnerable members of society, infant mortality is a measure of a society's concern and investment in supporting community health. In addition, disparities in infant mortality by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status are an important measure of the inequalities that exist within society. Proper prenatal care and well-baby preventive care offer opportunities to identify and lower some risk factors for infant mortality.
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