U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Neonatal and Postneonatal Mortality

Neonatal. In 2006, 18,989 infants died before reaching 28 days of age, representing a neonatal mortality rate of 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. This rate remains unchanged from the previous year.

Neonatal mortality is generally related to short gestation and low birth weight, congenital malformations, and conditions originating in the perinatal period, such as birth trauma or infection.

Neonatal mortality rates vary by race and ethnicity. In 2006, the neonatal mortality rate among non-Hispanic Black infants was 9.1 per 1,000 live births, more than twice the rate among non-Hispanic White and Hispanic infants (3.7 and 3.8 per 1,000, respectively).

Postneonatal. In 2006, 9,538 infants died between the ages of 28 days and 1 year, representing a postneonatal mortality rate of 2.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. This rate is slightly lower than the rate of 2.3 deaths per 1,000 live births reported in 2005.

Postneonatal mortality is generally related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), congenital malformations, and unintentional injuries. Postneonatal mortality varies by race and ethnicity. In 2006, the highest rate of postneonatal mortality was reported among non-Hispanic Black infants (4.7 per 1,000). Non-Hispanic White and Hispanic infants had rates of 1.9 and 1.7 per 1,000, respectively.

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