What does this measure?
The number of deaths among infants (under age 1) in various racial or ethnic groups in Monroe County, expressed as a rate per 1,000 live births and averaged over three years.
Why is this important?
Infant mortality reflects the overall health status of a population and indirectly is a measure of the effectiveness and availability of quality health care, particularly prenatal care.
How is our region performing?
Infant mortality was highest among African Americans, with 15 deaths per 1,000 births in 2015-17. This was almost double the rate for Hispanics of 10 and three times the rate for whites of 5 deaths per 1,000 births. Rates have not changed dramatically for African Americans or whites, but the rate among Hispanics fell from 13 in 2009-11.
Why do these disparities exist?
Racial disparities in infant mortality emerge from systems that perpetuate structural racism. Higher death rates among infants of color are directly tied to maternal access to prenatal care throughout pregnancy and quality of care. Research has shown that mothers of color are less likely to receive prenatal care in part because they tend to live in communities with fewer health care providers including neonatal services. While women of color from under-resourced communities gain access to health care via Medicaid, they are often underinsured. Discriminatory treatment by health care providers influences whether the health care needs of women of color are adequately addressed, putting mothers and their infants at higher risk of mortality. The racism experienced by expectant mothers of color in their everyday lives at work and in their neighborhoods (e.g. food insecurity, environmental toxins) place mothers and their infants at higher risk of premature death. The overall health of expectant mothers color and access to comprehensive health care including gynecological services before pregnancy also contributes to premature infant death.
Notes about the data
Rates are averaged over three years because some geographies or groups have small numbers, making it difficult to distinguish true changes from random fluctuations. Data for Hispanic births were not reported prior to 2007.
|Black or African American||White||Latino or Hispanic|
Notes: Rates are number of deaths of infants under 1 year per 1,000 live births. Hispanic data not reported prior to 2007.
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