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Infant Mortality and American Indians/Alaska Natives

  • American Indian/Alaska Natives have twice the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native infants are twice as likely as non-Hispanic white infants to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • American Indian/Alaska Native infants are 2.7 times more likely than non-Hispanic white infants to die from accidental deaths before the age of one year.
  • In 2017, American Indian/Alaska Native mothers were 2.8 times as likely to receive late or no prenatal care as compared to non-Hispanic white mothers.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native mothers are 60 percent more likely to smoke during pregnancy as compared to non-Hispanic white mothers.

Infant Mortality Rate

Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births, 2017
American Indian/Alaska Native* Non-Hispanic White All Races American Indian/Alaska Native /  Non-Hispanic White Ratio
9.2 4.7 5.8 2.0

Source:  CDC 2019.  Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2017 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set.  National Vital Statistics Reports. Table 2.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_10-508.pdf [474.53KB]

Leading Causes of Infant Mortality

Infant deaths and mortality rates for the top 5 leading causes of death for American Indian/Alaska Native, 2017.  (Rates per 100,000 live births)

Cause of Death (By rank)

#American Indian/ Alaska Native Deaths American Indian/ Alaska Native Death Rate #Non-Hispanic White Deaths Non-Hispanic White Death Rate American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
(1) Congenital malformations 50 166.9 2,138 107.3 1.6
(2) Low-Birthweight 31 103.5 1,260 63.2 1.6
(3) Accidents (unintentional injuries) 25 83.5 619 31.1 2.7
(4) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) 23 76.8 688 34.5 2.2
(5) Maternal Complications 10 -- 470 23.6 --

Source:  CDC 2019.  Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2017 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set.  National Vital Statistics Reports. Table 5.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_10-508.pdf [474.53KB]

Characteristics of Mother

Percentage of mothers who received prenatal care (first trimester), 2017
American Indian/Alaska Native Non-Hispanic White American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
63.4 82.4 0.8

Source:  CDC 2019.  Births: Final Data for 2017  National Vital Statistics Reports. Table 13.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr67/nvsr67_08-508.pdf [987.68KB]

Percentage of mothers who received late or no prenatal care, 2017
American Indian/Alaska Native Non-Hispanic White American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
12.6 4.5 2.8

Source:  CDC 2019.  Births: Final Data for 2017  National Vital Statistics Reports. Table 13.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr67/nvsr67_08-508.pdf
[987.68KB]

Percentage of mothers who smoked during pregnancy, 2017
American Indian/Alaska Native Non-Hispanic White American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
16.4 10.1 1.6

Source:  CDC 2019.  Births: Final Data for 2017  National Vital Statistics Reports. Table 13.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr67/nvsr67_08-508.pdf
[987.68KB]

Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births, 2017
Age of mother American Indian/Alaska Native Non-Hispanic White American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Under 20 years 15.8 8.5 1.9
20-24 years 8.2 6.1 1.3
25-29 years 8.5 4.6 1.8
30-34 years 7.1 3.8 1.9
35-39 years 10.9 4.1 2.7
40-54 years --- 5.3 --

Source:  CDC 2019.  Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2017 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set.  National Vital Statistics Reports. Table 2.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_10-508.pdf
[474.53KB]

*All data in the above surveys relate to non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives.

Last Modified: 11/8/2019 4:22:00 PM