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Overall infant mortality rate in Kansas City hits all-time low

Rates among black women still more than twice that of white women

The infant mortality rate in Kansas City, Mo., in 2005 reached a historic low of 7.3 infant (under 1 year of age) deaths per 1,000 live births. The City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department will soon publish a report about its findings on this issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 2 released a new report stating the national infant mortality rate in 2004 was 6.78.

Non-Hispanic black women have the highest infant mortality rate in the United States. In Kansas City, Mo., the infant mortality rate for non-Hispanic blacks, on average, was 2.5 times higher than that of non-Hispanic whites between 1996 and 2005.

The infant mortality rates for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics were 5.6 and 6.0 respectively, compared to 13.5 for non-Hispanic blacks in 2005.

Based on comparisons of prenatal risk analyses for 1996-2000 and 2001-2005, there was a 30 percent reduction in excess fetal and infant mortality in Kansas City and reductions for both non-Hispanic blacks (17 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (66.7 percent).

"Although our infant mortality rates are declining in Kansas City, they are still not acceptable," said Dr. Rex Archer, director of the City's Health Department. "The Fiscal Year 2007-2008 budget allows for the expansion of programs and services to address the disparity in infant mortality."

For more information about this issue, call Gerald Hoff, Health Department, (816) 513-6149.

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