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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. Because of this, birth defects are a major driver of overall infant mortality rates. Currently, birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States and other developed countries.

Most children who die due to birth defects do so early in life, many before their first month and most before their first year of life. Thus, infant mortality due to birth defects is a reasonable and convenient measure of deaths due to birth defects and of the effectiveness of 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).

Tracking birth defect patterns among Utah women is necessary to improve our efforts to understand the impact of birth defect related infant mortality and to decrease the number of infants that die during their first year of life.

It is also important that families have the resources to help them in the difficult times following the tragic loss of their child with birth defects. The Utah Birth Defect Network (UBDN) is engaged in activities to help prevent birth defects through surveillance and services, as well as to provide resource information to families who have experienced the death of a baby and their providers.

Infant Mortality: Racial Distribution of Infant Deaths Among Babies With Birth Defects, Utah, 1999-2011

::chart - missing::
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 born to Utah residents with major birth defects 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 born to Utah residents during the year. *This changes depending on the graph.

Page Content Updated On 11/15/2013, Published on 11/15/2013
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, 20 November 2014 19:05:30 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:09:21 MST