Decrease in infant mortality and sudden infant death syndrome among Northwest American Indians and Alaskan Natives--Pacific Northwest, 1985-1996

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1999 Mar 12;48(9):181-4.


Although the infant mortality rate (IMR) has steadily declined in the United States since the early 1900s, the rate varies among racial/ethnic populations. A goal of the national health objectives for 2010 is to eliminate racial/ethnic health disparities (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, unpublished data, 1999). Historically, IMRs among American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) have been high. In addition, IMRs have varied among AI/AN populations. To determine recent trends in infant mortality among Northwest AI/AN, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) analyzed annual IMRs among AI/AN in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In addition, because sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the major contributor to excess infant mortality in Northwest AI/AN, NPAIHB analyzed SIDS rates to determine whether the decline in SIDS rates in the United States also was occurring among Northwest AI/AN. This report summarizes the results of this analysis and documents dramatic decreases in both SIDS and non-SIDS infant mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inuits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Northwestern United States / epidemiology
  • Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology*
  • Sudden Infant Death / ethnology