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Indicator Report - Birth Defects: Infant Mortality

Why Is This Important?

Compared to other newborns, infants with birth defects are at a much greater risk of dying early in life. Such increased risk, combined with the frequency of birth defects, explains why birth defects are a major driver of overall infant mortality in developed countries, including the United States. Currently, birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States.

Most children who die with birth defects do so early in life, many in the first month and most before their first birthday. Thus, indicators related to infant mortality (mortality in the first year of life) currently tend to capture many (but not all) of the deaths associated with birth defects. This situation will likely change as treatment improves and survival lengthens. Still, infant mortality associated with birth defects is a useful metric to raise awareness on the impact of birth defects and to track trends reflecting the effectiveness of primary prevention and treatment.

Preventing birth defects is a crucial and necessary step to improving children's survival and health. Preventing birth defects requires a combination of surveillance, to track and assess these conditions; research, to find their causes; and direct prevention services, to ensure that all women and their providers know of effective primary prevention already available, such as periconceptional folic acid to prevent neural tube defects (see Indicator Report on neural tube defects).

Infant Mortality: Distribution of Infant Deaths Associated with Birth Defects by Race/Ethnicity, Utah, 1999-2011

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data table

Data Notes

Hispanic persons may be of any race.

Data Sources

Utah Birth Defect Network.

Other Views


Infant mortality related to birth defects in live born infants of Utah residents that died within the first year of life.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: Number of live born infants with major birth defects as reported to the Utah Birth Defect Network (UBDN), born during the year to Utah resident mothers and who died within the first year of life.
Denominator: 1) number of live born infants with birth defects born to Utah residents during the year 2) number of live born infants (with and without birth defects) born to Utah residents during the year. *This changes depending on the graph.

Page Content Updated On 10/28/2014, Published on 12/01/2014
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Thu, 02 July 2015 21:46:51 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 11:31:47 MST