|February 8, 2002|| Infant Mortality Numbers by
Infant Mortality by Race, 1980-2000
Infant Mortality, 1907-2000
INFANT MORTALITY RATE IMPROVES FOR BLACKS AND CHICAGO; ILLINOIS NUMBERS REMAIN THE SAME
SPRINGFIELD, IL Infant mortality rates among African Americans and in the city of Chicago dropped to all-time lows in 2000, while the overall death rate for Illinois babies remained the same as the previous year, according to statistics released today by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The state's infant mortality rate of 8.3 deaths per 1,000 live births -- identical to that recorded in 1999 -- represents a 22 percent decline from 1990, when it was 10.7. The rate for the past two years is second only to the 8.2 infant mortality rate posted in both 1997 and 1998.
"Compared to 1990, there are nearly 600 more babies a year who survive to their first birthday because of dramatic improvements in medical care and through efforts of the public health system and the state's human services agency to ensure women receive the proper health care during pregnancy," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "This is remarkable progress, but there are still too many babies dying."
The 2000 rate among African-American babies dipped from 17.4 deaths per 1,000 live births to 16.3, whereas the rate for white infants rose slightly from 6.2 in 1999 to 6.5 in 2000. The 2000 rate for African-American babies eclipses the previous low of 16.5; the lowest white rate was 6.2, which was recorded in 1997 and 1999.
"The infant mortality rate for African Americans has declined by 26 percent since 1990 and that is encouraging," Dr. Lumpkin said. "However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that, despite the improvement, the rate among African Americans is still two and half times higher than among whites."
Dr. Lumpkin said all expectant mothers must be reminded of the importance of taking care of themselves and their unborn child through early and comprehensive prenatal care and proper nutrition.
"Women can help assure their babies are healthy by eating nutritional foods; by not smoking, drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs; and by making regular visits to their doctor or health care provider during pregnancy,"
Dr. Lumpkin said. Dr. Lumpkin said babies born with low birth weight are 40 times more likely to die during the first month of life and those who survive suffer chronic physical and learning disabilities up to three times more often than normal weight infants.
Chicago's 2000 infant mortality rate was 10.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, down from 11.5 in 1999. Previously, the lowest rate in Chicago was recorded in 1997 when the rate was 10.7. The downstate infant mortality rate (all geographic areas outside the city of Chicago) was 7.4, up from 7.0 in 1999.
The infant mortality rate is figured annually by taking the number of children who die before they reach 12 months of age and dividing that number by the number of babies born in that same year, then multiplying by 1,000.
In 2000, 1,528 infants did not live to their first birthday (68 percent died within the first 27 days of life). A total of 185,003 babies were born to Illinois women in 2000 compared with 182,027 in 1999.
of Public Health
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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