Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The United States has the second-worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world

Yes, it's true, according to a new report by Save the Children. CNN has the story here:

American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway, Save the Children researchers found.

Only Latvia, with six deaths per 1,000 live births, has a higher death rate for newborns than the United States, which is tied near the bottom of industrialized nations with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with five deaths per 1,000 births.

Research shows that "[t]he newborn mortality rate in the United States... affect[s] minorities disproportionately, that "poorer mothers with less education were at a significantly higher risk of early delivery," and that "in general lower educational attainment was associated with higher newborn mortality".

I don't presume to know what the answer is, but perhaps universal health care would help. Just a thought.

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