Infant Mortality Rate Drops 15%
Collaborative Efforts to Reduce Rate Showing Promise
As the leader of a multi-year, national initiative to reduce infant mortality rates and disparities across populations, NICHQ is heartened by the announcement March 21 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that U.S. infant mortality rates have decreased 15 percent from 2005 to 2014. The report also shows the U.S. infant mortality rate reached new lows for almost all populations.
“These trends are encouraging and are a testament to the hard work of all the states and national partners who have worked together through the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (Infant Mortality CoIIN) since its inception,” says NICHQ CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP. “While the decade-long overall infant mortality rate trend shows a positive story, unfortunately, disparities still remain. There is certainly more work to be done.”
Key findings from the report include:
- Infant deaths declined from 6.86 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 5.82 in 2014.
- In 2014, infant mortality rates reached new lows for Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Asian or Pacific Islander populations.
- From 2005 through 2014, declines in infant mortality rates were observed for all races and Hispanic-origin subgroups except among American Indian or Alaska Native persons. The largest declines were among infants of Asian or Pacific Islander (21%) and non-Hispanic black (20%) women.
- From 2005 through 2014, the infant mortality rate for sudden infant death syndrome declined 29%, which was the largest decline observed among the top five leading causes of infant death.
"… there was a public health push in the past decade to figure out ways to lower this rate, and it has made an impact," said T.J. Matthews, a demographer at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics and an author of the report, according to CNN. "We know that there have been a lot of efforts across the country in cities and states where they're trying to figure out ways where they can lower the infant mortality rate."
To support those efforts, in 2013, the Maternal & Child Health Bureau awarded NICHQ the challenge of engaging federal, state and local leaders, public and private agencies, professionals, and communities to employ quality improvement, innovation and collaborative learning to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes. The NICHQ-led Infant Mortality CoIIN initiative focuses on six strategies to improve outcomes for pregnant women and infants, including: smoking cessation, pre/interconception care, safe sleep, social determinants of health, preterm and early term births, and risk-appropriate perinatal care. Nearly every state is participating in the initiative, typically focusing on at least two of these strategy areas. NICHQ provides state teams with coaching and guidance on testing and implementing evidence-based strategies that ultimately lead to systems changes that better support mothers and babies.
“It’s encouraging to see that our focus areas, like safe sleep and reducing sudden infant death, are having such a profound impact,” says NICHQ’s Pat Heinrich, RN, MSN, director of the Infant Mortality CoIIN. “We’ll continue to support states in their systems transformation work to make sure more children reach their first birthday and beyond.”
NICHQ and the National Healthy Start Association Partner to Provide Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Assistance to Healthy Start Grant Recipients
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) and the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) are proud to announce that they have been selected by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau to lead the Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project.
NICHQ Announces Exploration of Preterm Birth Rates
NICHQ is honored to announce a new initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that seeks to better understand how state-level systems change may help lower preterm birth rates.
NICHQ Selected to Manage Content for National Newborn Screening Website
NICHQ is proud to announce that it has been selected by the Health Resources and Services Administration to manage all content for a new comprehensive web-based clearinghouse.
NICHQ Chosen to Lead National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau has chosen NICHQ to lead a national initiative aimed at making infant safe sleep and breastfeeding the national norm. The five-year National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network (NAPPSS-IIN) engages champions within the systems that intersect with infant caregivers and families at risk to disseminate infant safe sleep and breastfeeding messages.
Infant Mortality Awareness Month Sheds Light on Growing National Healthcare Crisis
NICHQ today announced the launch of its annual campaign to combat infant mortality in conjunction with Infant Mortality Awareness Month. Throughout the month of September, NICHQ will continue its efforts to bring awareness to the shockingly high infant mortality rate in the United States while helping empower women to prepare for healthy pregnancies that result in healthy children.
National Initiative to Reduce Infant Mortality Extended
NICHQ's flagship collaborative improvement and innovation network (CoIIN) initiative focused on reducing infant mortality rates, known as the Infant Mortality CoIIN, has been extended by one year, through September 2017. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) prolonged their funded initiative to support states in their improvement efforts including data collection and the dissemination of lessons learned.