DefinitionNumber of infants who died before their first birthday (under 365 days), per 1,000 live births.
NumeratorNumber of infants who died before their first birthday.
DenominatorTotal live births.
Why Is This Important?The infant mortality rate is an important measure of a nation's health and a worldwide indicator of health status and social well-being. The top four causes of infant mortality in Utah are perinatal conditions (including preterm birth), birth defects, medical conditions of the infant, and sudden unexpected infant death (SUID).
Healthy People Objective MICH-1.3:Reduce the rate of all infant deaths (within 1 year)
U.S. Target: 6.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births
State Target: 4.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births
Other ObjectivesReduce the racial disparity in infant mortality rates.
How Are We Doing?The infant mortality rate has declined throughout the past 30 years both locally and nationally. Despite the overall decline, Utah's infant mortality rate has increased for the last three years. During 2017, 282 Utah infants died during their first year of life.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?State vs U.S.:[[br]]
Historically, the Utah infant mortality rate has been lower than the national rate. In 2016, the Utah infant mortality rate was 5.4/1,000 live births compared to the U.S. rate of 5.9/1,000 live births. (Source: CDC) In 2017, the Utah and estimated U.S. rate were comparable at 5.81 and 5.8. (Source: CIA World Factbook)
U.S. vs. Other Countries:[[br]]
According to 2017 estimates, The U.S. ranked 56th of 225 countries, meaning that 55 countries had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S., including Cuba, Greece, and Bosnia. The estimated U.S. rate for 2017 was 5.8/1000 live births. (Source: CIA World Factbook)
What Is Being Done?The UDOH Maternal and Infant Health Program is currently 1) reviewing data obtained from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) and the Perinatal Mortality Review (PMR) program to identify modifiable risk factors for infant mortality and develop appropriate interventions; 2) making health information available on-line for researchers, students, health care professionals and the general public to increase awareness of factors associated with infant death (i.e. the Indicator Based Information System [IBIS] and the Maternal and Infant Health Program websites); 3) promoting preconception and interconception health care for all women of childbearing age; 4) working with community partners and health professionals to disseminate information on 17P, a drug to help prevent recurrent preterm birth; and 5) collaborating with the Office of Health Disparities Reduction on targeted interventions toward decreasing infant mortality in disparate populations.
Evidence-based PracticesThe Utah Department of Health participates in the Utah Women and Newborn Quality Collaborative (UWNQC), a statewide perinatal quality collaborative. This workgroup of clinicians and public health professionals engages in development and measurement of health care quality indicators and quality improvement projects in the areas of maternal and neonatal health issues. There are a number of other states engaged in such collaboratives, including Iowa, Maryland, Ohio, California, and Tennessee. UWNQC is currently working on decreasing preterm birth, standardizing treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome, and promoting safety of out-of-hospital birth in Utah.
Health Program InformationInfant mortality may be reduced by breastfeeding. The "Stepping Up for Utah Babies" Program was developed by the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) and partners to recognize Utah hospitals that have taken steps to promote, protect, educate, and encourage breastfeeding in their facilities. Using a learning collaborative model, hospitals can implement 2, 4, 6, 8, or all 10 of the evidence-based steps to successful breastfeeding identified by the World Health Organization and UNICEF ([https://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/for-facilities/practice-guidelines/10-steps-and-international-code/]). A tool kit was adapted and developed outlining best practices, resources, action plans, and barriers to implementing each of the steps. Hospitals that successfully implement each two step interval (up to 10 steps) will be certified by UDOH and recognized through media and public celebrations.