Race- and rank-specific infant mortality in a US military population

Am J Dis Child. 1992 Mar;146(3):313-6. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160150053020.


Mortality among black infants in the United States is approximately twice that among white infants. The disparity has been attributed in large part to the higher incidence of poverty and limited access to health care among black Americans. We investigated race- and rank-specific infant mortality rates among dependents of military officers and soldiers at Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash, between 1985 and 1990. The overall infant mortality rate was 9.3 deaths per 1000 live births compared with 10.1 deaths per 1000 live births in the United States in 1987. Mortality rates for infants born to families of junior enlisted soldiers were similar to those for infants born to families of noncommissioned and commissioned officers. The mortality rate among black infants was 11.1 deaths per 1000 live births compared with 17.9 deaths per 1000 live births among all black Americans in 1987. These lower rates of mortality among black infants may be due to guaranteed access to health care and higher levels of family education and income in the multiracial subpopulation served by our medical center compared with the nation as a whole.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Washington / epidemiology