MONTGOMERY, AL - The Alabama Department of Public Health says it saw a decline in Alabama's infant mortality rate from 2007 to 2008. In 2008 there was a rate of 9.5 deaths per 1,000 live births and a total of 612 infant deaths. That number drops from 2007 when the infant mortality rate was at 10.0.
"While our infant mortality rate has decreased, we are concerned that the percentage of births to mothers with adequate prenatal care fell and that there are so many low birthweight infants," said Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer." Williamson added, "no insurance is associated with the highest infant mortality."
(Per every 1,000 live births)
Race: Black - Decrease from 14.6 in 2007 to 14.1 in 2008.
Race: White - Decrease from 8.0 to 7.6 in 2008
Race: Hispanic - Increase from 7.3 in 2007 to 8.9 in 2008.
Births to teens also declined from 8,776 in 2007 to 8,567 in 2008.
ADPH says overall, the infants born to adult women in 2008 had a better infant mortality rate (9.3) than for infants born to teenagers (11.8).
The adequacy of prenatal care in Alabama fell to its lowest level in more than a decade. Data from the department's Center for Health Statistics show that only 74.2 percent of all live births were to women with adequate prenatal care. By race, white mothers had the highest percentage of births with adequate prenatal care (76.5), followed by black mothers with 70.5 percent and Hispanic with 44.5 percent.
Having no insurance is associated with the highest infant mortality, according to ADPH. In 2008, mothers with private insurance had the lowest infant mortality rate (6.9), followed by women receiving Medicaid (10.8), and worst, self pay (20.1).