Infant Health : Race And Recent Changes Essay

1500 Words Oct 11th, 2014 6 Pages
Infant Health: Race and Recent Changes
A 2008 Public Broadcasting Service television documentary series titled Unnatural Causes aimed to uncover the unexpected relationships between social factors and health. One of the series’ episodes focused on America’s high infant mortality rate. More specifically, the episode investigated the connection between race and infant mortality in America. Now in 2014, six years after the documentary and over ten years since the collection of the episode’s data, we are faced with confronting the same issues again. Has America’s infant mortality rate improved over this period? How has infant health changed among racial groups during the past decade? In the past few years, the infant mortality rate in America has significantly declined. At the same time, the infant mortality rate of African-American infants has fallen most significantly of all racial groups.
The infant mortality rate is often used as an indicator of a population’s overall health. The simplicity of this measure can be used to compare the health of populations across the world (1). Despite America’s constant innovation in health care technology, the United States’ infant mortality standing—relative to other countries—has declined in the past half-century. From 1960 to 2006, the United States’ ranking fell from 12th lowest to 31st (2). Compared to other industrialized countries, the United States is well behind the curve for infant health. Digging deeper in America’s…

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