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N.C. Infant Mortality Rate for 2012 Released


For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 3, 2013

Raleigh, N.C. - Today, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released the state's infant mortality rate for 2012. According to statistics released by the Department, the rate in 2012 was 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate for 2012, while the third lowest in state history; is a slight increase from the 2011 rate of 7.2, and the all-time low of 7.0 in 2010.

Deaths attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) continued a downward trend from 50 in 2011 to 28 in 2012, according to the data collected by the State Center for Health Statistics.

Continued challenges identified in the 2012 infant mortality data include:

  • There was a 7.8% increase in the African American Non-Hispanic infant mortality rate with more than twice as many African American babies dying before their first birthday as white babies. The numbers are also increasing in the American Indian population as well.
  • If you are pregnant, vaccination with Tdap is needed during every pregnancy to provide some protection to your infant from pertussis until your infant is old enough to be vaccinated.
  • Nearly half of women who delivered infants were overweight or obese (48.5%). Being overweight or obese during pregnancy can increase the risk for Cesarean section delivery, longer hospital stays, gestational hypertension, diabetes, fetal death and birth defects.
  • About 20% of women ages 18-44 currently use tobacco; with 10.6% of women smoking during pregnancy in 2012. Eliminating maternal smoking may lead to a 10% reduction in all infant deaths and a 12% reduction in deaths from perinatal conditions including premature delivery and low birth weight.
  • 12% of births to women in NC have a birth interval of less than 6 months between delivery and next conception, which increases the risk for miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight and other pregnancy complications.

For a copy of the full 2012 Infant Mortality Report, visit:


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