Understanding State level Variations in U.S. Infant Mortality: 2000 to 2015

by   Alireza Ebrahimvandi, et al.

Objective: To exploit state variations in infant mortality, identify diagnoses that contributed to reduction of the infant mortality rate (IMR), and examine factors associated with preterm related mortality rate (PMR). Methods: Using linked birth-infant deaths files, we examined patterns in the leading causes of IMR. We compared these rates at both national and state levels to find reduction trends. Creating a cross-sectional time series of states' PMR and some explanatory variables, we implemented a fixed-effect regression model. Results: We found substantial state-level variations in changes of the IMR (range= -2.87 to 2.08) and PMR (-1.77 to 0.67). Twenty-one states in which the IMR declined more than the national average of 0.99 (6.89 to 5.90) were labeled as successful. In the successful states, we found a reduction in the PMR accounted for the largest decline in the IMR (0.90 fewer deaths). Changes in the other subgroups of leading causes did not differ significantly in successful and unsuccessful states. Policy Implications: Although its impact is not large, reducing the percentage of pregnant women with inadequate care is one of the mechanisms through which the PMR might decrease.


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