Why Is The Black Infant Mortality Rate So High?

Although recent technological advances have decreased infant mortality rates (IMR) globally, the U.S. rate is still alarming compared to other developed countries. The situation is even worse for black babies.

Findings from Duke’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development show that the 2013 white IMR in the U.S. was 5 per 1,000 births, whereas the black IMR was 11.2 per 1,000. The report also examined the social factors that lead to racial disparities in infant mortality rates.

Researchers stated that one of the key goals of the report was to dispel some of the myths about black women and infant mortality: causes are attributed to recreational drug use, poor health habits, obesity or age.

The report aims to point out the key issue: what we look at as protective factors in the general population don’t protect black women in the same way and the

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