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Neonatal and Postneonatal Mortality


Neonatal. According to preliminary data, in 2009, 17,298 infants died before reaching 28 days of age, representing a neonatal mortality rate of 4.19 deaths per 1,000 live births. Although this represents a 1.9 percent decrease from 4.27 per 1,000 live births in 2008, this change was not statistically significant.

Neonatal mortality is generally related to short gestation and low birth weight, congenital malformations, and conditions originating in the perinatal period, such as maternal complications related to pregnancy or complications experienced by the newborn resulting from birth.1

Neonatal mortality rates vary by race and ethnicity. Based on preliminary data for 2009, the neonatal mortality rate among infants born to Black women (including Hispanics) was 8.20 per 1,000 live births, more than twice the rate among infants born to non-Hispanic White and Hispanic women (3.43 and 3.62 per 1,000, respectively).

Postneonatal. In 2009, 9,233 infants died between the ages of 28 days and 1 year, representing a postneonatal mortality rate of 2.24 deaths per 1,000 live births. This represents a 3.4 percent decrease since 2008, when the postneonatal mortality rate was 2.32 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Postneonatal mortality is generally related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), congenital malformations, and unintentional injuries.1 Postneonatal mortality varies by race and ethnicity. According to preliminary data in 2009, the highest rate of postneonatal mortality was reported among infants born to Black (including Hispanic) women (4.51 deaths per 1,000 live births). Rates for infants born to non-Hispanic White and Hispanic women were 1.84 and 1.82 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quick Stats: Leading Causes of Neonatal and Postneonatal Deaths — United States, 2002. MMWR. 2005; 54(38):966.


This image is described in the Data section.

neonatal and post neonatal mortality rates graph


Neonatal and Post Neonatal Mortality Rates, by Maternal Race/Ethnicity, 2009*
Race/Ethnicity Deaths per 1,000 Live Births
Under 1 Year Less than 28 Days 28 Days to 11 Months
*Data for 2009 are preliminary.
Source: Kochanek KD, Xu J, Murphy SL, Miniño AM, Kung HC. Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2009. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 59 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2011. Accessed July 2011.
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native* 6.42 4.19 2.24
Non-Hispanic White 5.27 3.43 1.84
Black 12.71 8.20 4.51
Hispanic 5.44 3.62 1.82

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