Report on Kansas Infant Mortality

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Releases

Report on Infant Mortality

Topeka — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has released its annual report on infant mortality. The Kansas Infant Mortality & Stillbirth Report, 2019 examines trends and disparities in infant mortality and stillbirths. The full report can be viewed here.

Some notable findings include:

  • In 2019, there were 5.4 stillbirths at 20 weeks or more of gestation, per 1,000 live births plus stillbirths. This was unchanged from the 2018 rate. Since 2000, the overall trend for stillbirths has been increasing.
  • The infant mortality rate in Kansas decreased from 6.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018, to 5.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019. Since 2007, the overall trend for infant mortality has been decreasing.
  • From 2000 to 2019, infant mortality decreased among non-Hispanic White births and non-Hispanic Black births. No statistically significant trends in infant mortality were observed among Hispanic births.
  • In 2015-2019, the leading cause of infant mortality was congenital anomalies (23.9% of infant deaths), followed by Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (19.0%), short gestation and low birth weight (17.3%), and maternal complications of pregnancy (6.1%).
  • The rate of preterm-related mortality declined from 2000 to 2019. In 2015-2019, there were 190.0 preterm-related deaths per every 100,000 live births. The rate among non-Hispanic Black births (537.7 deaths per every 100,000 live births) was higher than that among non-Hispanic White births or Hispanic births.

“While the number of infant deaths reported is the lowest on record for the state, disparities in infant mortality rates among the non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations continued to exist in 2019,” said Kay Haug, State Registrar and Director of the KDHE Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics.

“Focusing on maternal health is critical to improving birth outcomes and preventing infant mortality,” said Rachel Sisson, Director of the KDHE Bureau of Family Health. “Specifically, the health, nutrition, and behaviors of a mother prior to and during pregnancy directly impacts the infant’s health at the time of birth and throughout life. Further, eliminating disparities in infant mortality starts with addressing social determinants of health for the mother by ensuring access to care, individual and family supports, education, and maternity care practices that promote breastfeeding and safe sleep.”

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