November 23, 1998
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES THAT ILLINOIS INFANT MORTALITY RATES DROPPED
TO ALL-TIME LOW FOR 1997, DOWN 30 PERCENT SINCE 1990
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. -- Gov. Jim Edgar today announced that Illinois infant mortality rate fell to a record low in 1997, continuing a downward trend that has seen the number of infant deaths in Illinois drop by nearly 30 percent since 1990.
Illinois infant mortality rates have reached an all-time low in 1997, the Governor said. It means 600 more Illinois babies survived to their first birthday than in 1990, and that is very good news.
We must continue to build on efforts to provide and encourage even better prenatal and infant care in Illinois, especially among families at the greatest risk, to ensure that this healthy trend continues.
The Illinois infant mortality rate for 1997 was 8.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, as compared to the 1996 rate of 8.4, according to statistics compiled by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Prior to 1996, previous record lows were reported in 1994 (9.0), 1993 (9.6), 1992 (10.0) and 1990 and 1991 (10.7).
Illinois women today are more aware of the need for early and comprehensive prenatal care and proper nutrition, and Illinois women today have better access to prenatal care, said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, Director of Public Health.
Infants born too soon or too small are 40 times more likely to die during the first month of life, and low birthweight children who survive suffer chronic physical and learning disabilities up to three times more often than normal weight infants, Lumpkin said.
The rate among African-American babies dropped by 5 percent to 16.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 1997, down from 17.1 in 1996. This compares to a 1.5 percent reduction in the rate among white babies, which dropped to 6.2 in 1997, down from 6.3 in 1996.
Chicagos 1997 infant mortality rate continued its decline, reaching 10.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births compared to the 1996 rate of 10.8. Chicagos infant mortality rate has dropped 31 percent since 1990.
The 1997 infant mortality rate for downstate Illinois was 7.2, compared to 7.4 in 1996. The 1997 rate represents a 15 percent decline since 1990.
In 1997, the number of Illinois infants who did not live to their first birthday dropped to 1,476, down from 1,536 in 1996, and 2,090 in 1990. Illinois births in 1997 totaled 180,649, down from 183,079 in 1996.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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