Objectives: This study examined trends and risk factors for infant mortality associated with necrotizing enterocolitis in the United States.
Methods: Necrotizing enterocolitis-associated deaths and infant mortality rates from 1979 through 1992 were determined by means of US multiple cause-of-death and linked birth/infant death data.
Results: Annual necrotizing enterocolitis infant mortality rates decreased from 1979 through 1986 but increased thereafter and were lower during the 3-year period before (1983 through 1985;11.5 per 100,000 live births) the introduction of surfactants than after (1990 through 1992; 12.3 per 100,000). Low-birthweight singleton infants who were Black male, or born to mothers younger than 17 had increased risk for necrotizing enterocolitis-associated death.
Conclusions: As mortality among low-birth weight infants continues to decline and smaller newborns survive early causes of death, necrotizing enterocolitis-associated infant mortality may increase.