Infant death rate increases in northeast Florida

Rate higher than state, nation

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The infant death rate has increased in northeas Florida, according to the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition.

Infant mortality in northeast Florida increased to 7.2 in 2012, up from 6.5 in 2011. In northeast Florida, there were 127 infant deaths and 121 fetal deaths/stillbirths. Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths, which includes SIDS and other sleep-related deaths, also increased in northeast Florida, though there were none in Baker and Nassau counties.

There are also still disparities between white and nonwhite birth outcomes, though it narrowed slightly in 2012 due to an increase in the infant mortality rate among white women.

According to the Fetal Infant Mortality Review, the mother's health, unplanned pregnancies and life course issues continue to be top contributors to the region's infant mortality. The report included the following recommendations:

  • Continue to focus on safe sleep education
  • Focus on safe sex, STD prevention and family planning
  • Continue to focus on the dangers of smoking during pregnancy

The report covers Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties. It features detailed case information on a sampling of infant deaths in northeast Florida and analyzes strategies to improve birth outcomes.

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