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National Disgrace: U.S. Ranks 29th in Infant Mortality Rate
The Centers for Disease Control reports
that the infant mortality rate in the United States stood at 6.89 deaths per thousand live births in 2004, the latest year for which comprehensive figures are available; as such, the U.S. slipped from a rank of 24th in infant mortality rate for the year 2000 to 29th among countries the CDC tracks. The report also shows
that the mortality rate for infants born to non-Hispanic Black women was almost two-and-a-half times as high as it was for babies born to non-Hispanic White women. Other groups with high infant mortality rates included Native Americans and Puerto Ricans.
A significant factor contributing to the high infant mortality rate in the United States appears to be premature births, which account for 12 percent
of all live deliveries in the country. A birth is considered preterm if it happens before the 37th week of gestation. Premature births are on the rise in many countries, and in the U.S., the incidence has increased by 30 percent
over the past 25 years, although a certain percentage of preterm deliveries from 35 to 37 weeks may be the result
of unnecessary Cesarean sections being performed. This is probably not, however, an adequate explanation for the high rates of infant mortality among certain minority groups in America because women of color would be less likely to have access to the kind of prenatal care and counseling, misguided as it might be, where doctor recommendations for C-sections would be made. In fact, the preterm birth phenomenon in general has more complex, unknown causes than could be completely explained away by a high incidence of Cesarean sections and other birth-inducing procedures being performed.
The infant mortality rate in the U.S. dropped throughout the 20th Century, but the 21st Century has been different: from 2000 to 2005, the infant mortality rate held steady
; it did, however, decline from 6.86 infant deaths per thousand live births in 2005 to 6.71 deaths per thousand live births in 2006, still far above the stated goal of U.S. policy, which is to reach an infant mortality rate of 4.5 deaths of babies for every thousand born alive.
For decades, the U.S. has been losing ground
in its ranking among countries with respect to infant mortality rates: from a rank of 12th in 1960, the United States had fallen to 23rd in 1990 and then to 24th in 2000. The new data released by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that this trend has continued, with the United States, as of 2004, behind virtually every First World, industrialized country and even some Second World nations. The graphic below vividly illustrates the relative position of the U.S. and rightly calls into question what is often touted as the superiority of American health care.
Data from 1960 to 2004 can be viewed in the graphical table below:
Rankings for 2004 show that the United States shares 29th place in infant mortality rate with Slovakia and Poland. Virtually every developed, industrialized country in Europe and Asia had a lower infant mortality rate for the year, and so did Cuba, a country often harshly criticized by conservative American politicians.
The challenge to the United States in caring for its youngest, most vulnerable citizens is clear: considering the lower infant mortality rates that so many other nations are achieving, far too many American babies are dying. High on the list of priorities for the next Administration taking office in January 2009 must be the rectification of this outrageous national disgrace. An industrialized country with the resources to rescue a reckless financial services industry with a $750 billion dollar bailout for Wall Street welfare queens must surely be able to find sufficient money somewhere to save the lives of infants, even though they cannot speak for themselves, much less pour campaign contributions into the pockets of legislators.
The Dark Wraith encourages others to publish the graphics above and raise Holy Hell about what priorities this nation should have as opposed to those it has thus far demonstrated.
The U.S. infant mortality rates are an obscenity, particularly when so many have the audacity to call this country a world superpower. But, our priorities show, don't they? There is always money for war and financiers. Babies, well, they're not so good at turning a buck, at least not for awhile.
Those at most risk probably will never work on Wall Street, unless it is in the capacity of cleaning the offices. Hopefully, those that weild the power will see that even these people have value.
In FL, I live near Gadsden Co., which has highest infant mortality rate in the state (approx 14 deaths per 1000 live births, vs. 7 in the rest of FL.) Gadsden is also over 60% black, and has gone without a hospital these past 4 years due to any number of improprieties. Nobody's hot-footing to get things right, either.
We've written about it on the blog and in the paper. Everyone has to get on board badgering his representatives if anything is to change about anything.
It just never stops with these assholes in charge, does it? I'm so sick and tired of their their fake ethics and morals, and their lying and hypocrisy. And their buzz words ("Right to life" ??) and code words ("Sanctity of life" ??) meant to pander to and fire up their ("Pro-life" ??) base of morans.
Can we please, please, send them all back to Planet Crazy, where they came from?
They are already on Planet Crazy, Moody Blue.
(That's why the rest of us look so lost sometimses.)
Stop the world; this is where I get off.
Oh, and I need a transfer.
The bus doesn't stop until we get to our destination, trog.
The Dark Wraith hollers, "All aboard!"
they shut down charlie's farm today
they took away his tractor and his tools
they shut him down and sold it off
so they could pay those missle building fools
paid the gunners, paid the bombers
paid their whores with cash
they paid the sherrif so that he would go
and shut down charlie's ass
if that's alright
if that's how you want things
grow your own damned food
plow your own damned land
shut the farmers down
get your food from soldiers
until we're down to one
last angry man
"charlie's farm" written by....me
at least while the two of us are breathin' wraith it won't be the one last part.
i'm going to link to this one at GNB.
linkage accomplished friend wraith.
let me know if it gives you a bump in hit count.
"OECD report ranks US third worst in inequality and poverty":
A report issued yesterday by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed the United States has the third worst level of income inequality and poverty among the group's 30 member states. Only Mexico and Turkey ranked higher in those categories. OECD states in western Europe, along with Japan, South Korea, Canada and Australia, all recorded better figures than the US, as did central and eastern European states, including Poland and Hungary.
Well, we're almost
the best at being the worst in something.
For too long, all the American sound and fury has dedicated itself unto, with regards to pregnant women, was KEEPING them pregnant---even against their wishes.
The second a fetus is a full term baby, they don't give a damn---about mother OR child. Another aspect of prematurity in childbirth is apparently depression as a contributing factor; American women---minority or not, have more and more reason to be depressed!
Excellent point, labrys. The fundies love the fetus, but disregard the baby. Religious strictures prohibit societal progression. Their motto is "maintain our status quo," against every one else, i.e., the Sinners and Infidels.
Their banner issue, abortion, is like Prohibition; you'll never sanction morality.
The high infant mortality rates speak of our poor health care system, top down, and the schism between rich and poor. I was just thinking of the movie "Citizen Ruth," which so nicely expressed the hypocrisy surrounding the issue, on all sides.
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