Infant mortality rates for full-term babies vary across the U.S., but all states are worse than many European countries, a new study suggests.
Previous research has found babies more likely to die in the U.S. than in other developed and affluent nations, but the current study offers fresh evidence that this is true even for infants born at the very end of pregnancy when they should have excellent survival odds.
Across the U.S., infant mortality rates for full-term babies were 50 percent to 200 percent higher than in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, the study found.
The two main reasons for the higher U.S. mortality were “congenital malformations, which patients cannot really do much about other than ensuring adequate screening during pregnancy, and high risk of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy, which should largely be preventable through appropriate sleeping arrangements,” said study co-author Neha Bairoliya of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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