Health news Health & Medical News Md. infant mortality rate at record low for second year

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Md. infant mortality rate at record low for second year

Infant mortality in Maryland remained at a record low for the second consecutive year, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Health Secretary Dr. Joshua Scharfstein said Wednesday morning, attributing it to expanded access to health care for women and children.

The figure, 6.7 percent death rate for every 1,000 live births, is for 2010 and 2011. The rate for Baltimore City, still above the state average and the highest infant mortality rate in the Baltimore area, showed a decline, from 11 percent to 10.5 percent, according to newly released statistics.

O'Malley, speaking at a press conference at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, attributed the statewide decline to a number of factors. They were largely expanded access to health care for women before and during pregnancy as well as for babies, local public health moves, and teaching parents to have infants sleep alone and on their backs.

Officials said despite the accomplishment, more improvements need to take place. Infant mortality rates remained higher among African Americans than whites statewide dropping from 4.1 percent to 4 percent among whites but climbing from 11.8 percent to 12 percent among the black population.

Source: By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

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