Infant Mortality Rate Continues To Drop; More Work To Be Done

Gov. Eric Holcomb says lowering the state's infant mortality rate is a top priority.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana’s infant mortality rate has declined significantly in the past six years.

Data from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) shows that 559 Indiana babies died before the age of 1 in 2018, down from 602 in 2017.

The overall infant mortality rate stood at 6.8 per 1,000 babies in 2018, down from 7.3 in 2017.

Governor Eric Holcomb said in his State of the State Address on Tuesday that lowering the state’s infant mortality rate is one of his top priorities in 2020.

“Indiana has been investing heavily in improving health outcomes for moms and babies as we work toward Governor Holcomb’s goal of having the lowest infant mortality rate in the Midwest by 2024,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “It’s heartening to see those efforts pay off so that more Hoosier babies can celebrate their first birthdays.”

The 2018 infant mortality rates for non-Hispanic white infants met the Healthy People 2020 goal of 6.0 per 1,000, while the rate for Hispanic infants fell to 6.1. The non-Hispanic black infant mortality rate fell from 15.4 to 13.0.

While encouraged by an across-the-board decrease, Box said the state will continue to work with partners to address persistent racial disparities.

“Every baby deserves a chance to grow and thrive,” Box said. “The new OB Navigator program that is launching in the areas of the state at highest risk for infant mortality includes specific strategies to help connect at-risk women with community resources to help them have a healthy pregnancy and support them after their baby is born.”

For more information, visit www.in.gov/laboroflove.

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