Higher homicide rates seen in infants born to mothers who were young, had multiple previous live births, were non-Hispanic Black
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) — From 2017 through 2020, 1,067 homicides occurred among infants in the United States, averaging 267 per year, according to the July 26 National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Isabelle Horon, Dr.P.H., and Anne K. Driscoll, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, describe homicide rates among infants aged younger than 1 year by selected maternal, pregnancy-related, and infant characteristics using linked birth/infant death files based on data collected in U.S. birth and death certificates. Homicide rates were calculated for the period 2017 to 2020.
The researchers found that from 2017 through 2020, 1,067 homicides occurred among infants in the United States, averaging 267 per year. More than half of all infant homicides occurred in infants aged 3 months and younger. Infants born to mothers who were young, had multiple previous live births, were non-Hispanic Black, were born in the United States, had lower levels of education, lived in rural areas, had no prenatal care, and delivered outside of a hospital had higher homicide rates. Infants who were part of multiple-gestation pregnancy, were born preterm or low birthweight, or were admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit also had higher rates.
“The findings of this study enhance understanding of the maternal, pregnancy-related, and infant risk factors associated with infant homicide, which may help inform efforts to reduce maltreatment and neglect resulting in death,” the authors write.
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