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Infant Mortality in KansasSure we can do better….. Gianfranco Pezzino, M.D., M.P.H. Senior Analyst Kansas Health Institute
We would like to thank Jamie Kim and Carol Moyer, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, for providing much of the information used to prepare this presentation
Why do we care? • The healthy future of society depends on the health of the children of today and their mothers, who are guardians of that future. (World Health Organization, World Health Report 2007) • Most societies recognize the special status of women and children and protect them from harm the best they can
Infant Mortality Calculation • Two calculations methods: • Simplest, universally adopted method = Infant deaths in a given year divided by the total number of live births in the same year multiplied by 1,000 • Cohort rate = Infants born in a given year are followed through their first birthday and the number of deaths that occur to these infants are noted and used as the numerator for the cohort IMR (linked births-deaths file)
“Disclaimers” • Numbers from different sources may not always match • Cohort versus cross-sectional method • Single year versus multi-year average • NCHS versus KDHE • Etc. Etc. • Some numbers in Kansas are really small (total deaths/year=~300) • Rates unstable
Cuba Faroe Islands Isle of Man Italy New Zealand Taiwan San Marino Greece Monaco Ireland Jersey United Kingdom Gibraltar Portugal Netherlands European Union Luxembourg Canada Guernsey Liechtenstein Australia Belgium Austria Denmark Slovenia Macau Spain Switzerland Germany Andorra Czech Republic Malta Norway Finland France Iceland Hong Kong Japan Sweden Singapore Estonia Cayman Islands Slovakia Poland Serbia Cyprus Lithuania Croatia …… Some countries do better than KS Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, 2009
Infant mortality rates by race/ethnicity: Kansas and US, 2003-2005 Average KS rates are higher than U.S. for all race and ethnic groups B:W rate ratio : KS = 2.1 US = 2.4 Source: March of Dimes, 2009
African American and White Infant Mortality Rates & Ratio, KS Births: 1998-2007
Proportion of Births and Deaths by Race and Ethnicity - Kansas, 2007 Black babies represent 7% of births and 17% of deaths
Kansas Ranks 47th among States for Black Infant Mortality Rate Source: National Center for VS, CDC, 2006
Infant deaths by cause of deathKS and U.S.A., 2005 SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. RDS is Respiratory Distress Syndrome. "Maternal Preg. Comp." stands for "Maternal Complications of Pregnancy." Cause of death for 1996-1998 is based on the Ninth Revision, International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9); cause of death for after 1998 is based on the Tenth Revision, International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Source: National Center for Health Statistics, period linked birth/infant death data. Retrieved July 9, 2009, from www.marchofdimes.com/peristats.
Pre-term (or premature) = Born early (before 37 weeks) Low birth weight = Born small (less than 2500 grams, ~ 5.5 lb.) Highly correlated Small/premature babies require intensive care and have high risk of death and developmental problems Gestational Age and Birth Weight
Preterm births by race/ethnicityKS and U.S.A., 2004-2006 average *Healthy People 2010 objective = < 5.0%* All race categories exclude Hispanics. Preterm is less than 37 completed weeks gestation. Categories do not sum to total since missing ethnicity data are not shown. Source: National Center for Health Statistics, final natality data. Retrieved July 9, 2009, from www.marchofdimes.com/peristats.
Percentage of pre-term births by race/ethnicityKS, 2004-2006 average Source: March of Dimes, 2009
Births and Deaths by Gestational Age, KS 20005-2008 AverageAll Races Pre-term = 9% Pre-term=62% Premature babies: <10% of births, BUT >60% of deaths! Source: KDHE
Births and Deaths by Gestational Age, KS 20005-2008 Average White NH Pre-term = 9% Pre-term=60% Source: KDHE
Births and Deaths by Gestational Age, KS 20005-2008 Average Black NH Pre-term = 13% Pre-term=75% Source: KDHE
Births and Deaths by Gestational Age, KS 20005-2008 Average Hispanic Pre-term = 8% Pre-term=59% Source: KDHE
Neonatal deaths (= <28 days old) are more common than post-neonatal deaths in all races and ethnicities This distinction is less important today LBW and prematurity more important than the age of the baby How old are babies when they die?
Some maternal characteristics associated with baby deaths: Young and old age (teenage mothers have risk 30-40% higher) Education (college ed. reduces risk by 50%) Smoking (increases risk by 74%) Late start of prenatal care (increases risk by 40%) KS fairs poorly for many of these factors Maternal Risk Factors
KS IMR is higher than in most other states Rates are higher in KS than U.S. for all race and ethnic groups Wide disparities by race and ethnicity Causes of infant deaths mimic those in other states: Prematurity and LBW are key factor Summary
The Power of Small Numbers Small change in number of deaths in minority groups can affect group rate but not overall rate The effect of 5 infant deaths
…if black babies in KS died at the same rate as black babies in the U.S. IMAGINE…..
…if Hispanic babies in KS died at the same rate as Hispanic babies in the U.S. IMAGINE…..
…if white babies in KS died at the same rate as white babies in the U.S. IMAGINE…..
…if black babies in KS died at the same rate as white babies in KS (i.e., no racial gap) IMAGINE…..
…if all babies in KS died at the same rate as babies in the U.S. in the same race/ethnic group IMAGINE…..
Conclusion • Addressing the racial disparity in infant deaths is imperative for ethical and equity reasons • BUT it alone will not produce the largest improvement in overall IM rate • KS overall rate mimics rate of the majority group (i.e., white) • Improving KS IMR requires improvement in all race and ethnic groups • Achieving group-specific rates equal to U.S. rates would produce the largest reduction
Kansas Health Institute Healthier Kansans through informed decisions