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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Infant Mortality

Why Is This Important?

The infant death rate is an important measure of a nation's health and a worldwide indicator of health status and social well-being. It is a critical indicator of the health of a population. The top four causes of infant mortality in Utah include conditions in the perinatal period (includes disorders related to short gestation or preterm birth and can reflect the overall state of maternal health, as well as the quality and accessibility of primary health care for pregnant women), birth defects, medical conditions of the infants, and sudden unexpected infant death (formerly called Sudden Infant Death, now commonly referred to as Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, or SUID; many of these are related to sleep environments which are unsafe for infants). These four causes historically account for the greatest number of infant deaths in Utah; their proportions fluctuate somewhat from year to year.

Infant Mortality: Deaths at Under 1 Year of Age, Utah and U.S., 1980-2015

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Data Sources

  • Utah Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data Notes

U.S. figures from NVSR Report Deaths: Final Data for 2015

Risk Factors

2013-2015 data show the following risk factors contribute to infant mortality: * Maternal inadequate weight gain during pregnancy * Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI (obese prior to pregnancy) * Maternal tobacco use * Less than 6 months between pregnancies * Infant birth weight (less than 2,500 g) * Preterm infant * Multiple gestation (e.g. twins)

How Are We Doing?

The infant mortality rate has been declining throughout the past 20 years both locally and nationally. Despite this decline, the problem of infant mortality remains substantial. During 2015, 257 Utah infants died during their first year of life, each death representing a tragedy for parents, siblings and other family members.

What Is Being Done?

Improvements in early obstetric intervention and perinatal and postneonatal care have been linked to this decline in infant mortality. However, there still remain significant disparities among various racial/ethnic groups. 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 Program (PMRP) 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) educating prenatal health care providers to help pregnant clients cease smoking to reduce the postneonatal mortality rate and reduce low birth weight births which contribute to neonatal mortality; 4) promoting preconception and interconception health care for all women of childbearing age, with special emphasis on attaining and maintaining healthy weight; 5) working with community partners and health professionals to disseminate information on 17P, a newer drug to help prevent recurrent preterm birth; and 6) collaborating with the Office of Health Disparities Reduction on targeted interventions toward decreasing infant mortality in disparate populations. In addition, the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to Reduce Infant Mortality was launched nationwide in 2014. The CoIIN is a multi-year national movement engaging federal, state, and local leaders; public and private agencies; professionals; and communities to employ quality improvement, innovation, and collaborative learning to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes. The CoIIN has identified six strategy areas that it will focus on: SIDS/SUID/safe sleep, smoking cessation, preconception/interconception care, social determinants of health, prevention of preterm and early term births, and risk-appropriate perinatal care (perinatal regionalization). Utah will be focusing on preconception/interconception care and prevention of preterm and early term births.

Healthy People Objective: 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

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 12/08/2016

Other Views

The information provided above is from the 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 Sun, 21 October 2018 5:03:46 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Fri, 26 May 2017 10:19:46 MDT