Objectives: This report presents 1999 period infant mortality statistics from the linked birth/infant death data set (linked file) by a variety of maternal and infant characteristics.
Methods: Descriptive tabulations of data are presented.
Results: In general, mortality rates were lowest for infants born to Chinese and Japanese mothers (2.9 and 3.4 per 1,000, respectively). Infants of Cuban, Central and South American, Mexican, and non-Hispanic white mothers had low rates, while rates were higher for infants of Puerto Rican and highest for non-Hispanic black mothers (13.9). Filipino mothers also had low rates. Rates were high for infants of Hawaiian and American Indian mothers. Infant mortality rates were higher for those infants whose mothers had no prenatal care, were teenagers, had 9-11 years of education, were unmarried, or smoked during pregnancy. Infant mortality was also higher for male infants, multiple births, and infants born preterm or at low birthweight. The three leading causes of infant death--Congenital malformations, low birthweight, and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)--taken together accounted for 45 percent all infant deaths in the United States in 1999. Cause-specific mortality rates varied considerably by race and Hispanic origin. For infants of black mothers, the infant mortality rate for low birthweight was four times that for white mothers. For infants of American Indian mothers, the SIDS rate was 2.4 times that for non-Hispanic white mothers. SIDS rates for infants of Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander mothers, were 40-50 percent lower than those for non-Hispanic white mothers.