Created: 08/26/2014 11:10 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com
New Mexico's infant mortality rate declined in 2013 after a statistically significant increase in 2012.
Last year, the state recorded 5.4 infant deaths per 1,000 births, or 143 deaths in total. This was a 22 percent decrease from the infant death rate of 6.9 in 2012.
The 2012 infant mortality rate increased 31 percent over the three-year prior average rate of 5.3. The Department of Health's report attributed the increase to a combination of factors, including more chronic conditions among mothers and behaviors that contributed significant risk such as increased alcohol and cigarette use before and during pregnancy.
"The infant mortality rate in New Mexico can vary substantially from year to year; steep increases or decreases from year to year are not uncommon," said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward. "The Department of Health will continue working to better understand the causes of infant mortality and implement initiatives to prevent and decrease infant deaths."
The department is actively participating in a multi-state regional Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes.