MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health says the state saw a slight increase in infant mortality in 2019.
According to the ADPH’s report, the infant mortality rate was 7.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. That’s up from 2018′s rate of 7.0.
In 2019, 449 infants died before reaching their first birthday, ADPH reports. In 2018, there were 405 infant deaths, down from 435 the year before.
Last year’s rate is the third lowest the state has seen in more than five decades. However, ADPH says the rate has continued to be higher than the national rate, which was “provisionally 5.7 in 2019.”
ADPH says the three leading causes of infant death in 2018 remained the same in 2019. The leading causes were congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities, disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome.
These causes accounted for 40.2 percent of infant deaths, ADPH reports.
“While fluctuations in infant deaths continue to occur, the Alabama Center for Health Statistics will continue to work diligently to ensure all infant deaths are reported,” said Center for Health Statistics Director Nicole Rushing.
The number of live births increased from 57,754 in 2018 to 58,615 in 2019, according to the ADPH’s report. The percent of births to teen mothers saw a slight decrease from 6.9 percent in 2018 to 6.8 percent.
ADPH also continues to see a decline in smoking during pregnancy.