Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chicana and Chicano StudiesLatino Health Issues


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Infant mortality is the death of infants in their first year of life.

The infant mortality rate (also sometimes called the ¡°infant death rate¡±) is the number of infants dying in their first year divided by the number of those living.

Helen Taussig examining a baby, ca. 1980

Why the concern with infant mortality?

Infant mortality rates are an indicator of the well being of infants and pregnant mothers. This is because they are connected to the baby and mother¡¯s health, their economic status, plus the quality and access of medical care and public health services.

In the past ten years, the infant mortality rates have fallen generally in the United States. For Latinos, infant mortality rates still remain lower than other racial groups in the US. However recently, mortality rates are increasing among Puerto Ricans and U.S. born Latinas' infants (Hummer).

In the next 20 years, the Hispanic population is expected to grow by 1.2 million annually (Cromartie). The increasing number of U.S. born Latino mothers in the future means that the infant mortality rate will also rise.

Therefore there should be concern by health care providers and the Latino community, (especially Latino mothers) because these trends can only mean one thing: infant mortality rates are going to increase.

Latino mothers and health care providers should develop a partnership to reduce infant mortality rates while closely examining the risk factors, the causes, and possible solutions to infant mortality. Latino mothers and healthcare providers should fight what will only be a larger issue in the future if not prevented.


Accessibility | Privacy | ASU Disclaimer This site was created by Joan Wamaniala in fulfillment of requirements for the course CSS 335: Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Spring 2007.