Infant mortality

From WikiMD's Wellnesspedia

Infant mortality refers to the death of an infant before their first birthday. It is a critical indicator of the overall health of a society, reflecting the effectiveness of healthcare systems, economic conditions, social well-being, and public health practices.


Introduction[edit | edit source]

Infant mortality is a significant public health concern and a measure of a country's socioeconomic status and quality of healthcare systems. It is usually expressed as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births.[1]

Causes of Infant Mortality[edit | edit source]

  • The causes of infant mortality are complex and varied, and they can be broadly divided into neonatal (first 28 days of life) and postneonatal (29 days to one year) causes:
  • Neonatal Causes: These often include prematurity and low birth weight, congenital anomalies, and complications during childbirth, such as birth asphyxia and birth trauma.[2]
  • Postneonatal Causes: These can involve sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), infections, and accidents (unintentional injuries).[3]

Determinants of Infant Mortality[edit | edit source]

The determinants of infant mortality are multifaceted, including healthcare-related factors such as prenatal care, childbirth, and newborn care; social determinants like income, education, and race/ethnicity; and environmental factors such as sanitation, nutrition, and exposure to pollutants.[4]

Global Trends[edit | edit source]

Infant mortality rates have seen a significant global decline over the past several decades, primarily due to advances in healthcare, nutrition, and sanitation. However, substantial disparities persist between developed and developing countries, with the highest rates observed in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.[5]

Prevention and Intervention Strategies[edit | edit source]

Preventing infant mortality involves a multifaceted approach that includes improving prenatal and postnatal care, promoting breastfeeding, immunization, and proper nutrition, reducing the incidence of low birth weight and preterm births, improving environmental conditions, and mitigating socioeconomic disparities.[6]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. World Health Organization. (2020). Infant mortality. Retrieved from
  2. Lawn, J. E., et al. (2014). Every Newborn: progress, priorities, and potential beyond survival. Lancet, 384(9938), 189–205.
  3. Moon, R. Y., Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. (2016). SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Evidence Base for 2016 Updated Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. Pediatrics, 138(5).
  4. Singh, G. K., & Kogan, M. D. (2007). Persistent Socioeconomic Disparities in Infant, Neonatal, and Postneonatal Mortality Rates in the United States, 1969–2001. Pediatrics, 119(4), e928–e939.
  5. UNICEF. (2019). Levels & Trends in Child Mortality. Retrieved from
  6. Kassebaum, N. J., et al. (2016). Global, regional, and national levels of maternal mortality, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet, 388(10053), 1775–1812.
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