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Mortality Rates Highest for Infants Born to Teens Age 15 to 19

Rates highest for infants of non-Hispanic black teens versus infants of non-Hispanic white, Hispanic teens

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Infants born to teenagers aged 15 to 19 years are more likely to die within the first year of life, according to a July data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Ashley M. Woodall, M.P.H., and Anne K. Driscoll, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, present recent patterns in racial and ethnic differences in mortality and leading causes of death for infants born to teenage mothers (age 15 to 19 years) using 2017 to 2018 linked birth/infant death data from the National Vital Statistics System.

The researchers found that compared with infants of women aged 20 years and older, infants of teenagers aged 15 to 19 years had the highest rate of mortality (8.77 deaths per 1,000 live births) in 2017 to 2018. The highest mortality rates were seen for infants of non-Hispanic black teenagers compared with those of non-Hispanic white and Hispanic teenagers (12.54 versus 8.43 and 6.47 per 1,000 live births, respectively). For four of the five leading causes of death, infants of non-Hispanic black teenagers had the highest mortality rates compared with infants of non-Hispanic white and Hispanic teenagers. The mortality rate of infants related to preterm birth and low birth weight was higher for those born to non-Hispanic black versus non-Hispanic white and Hispanic teenagers (284.31 versus 119.18 and 94.44 per 100,000 live births, respectively).

“Among the five leading causes of death, the largest racial and ethnic difference in mortality rates was found for preterm- and low birthweight-related causes,” the authors write.

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