America has second worst newborn death rate in modern world

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, May 9, 2006.

  1. U.S. has second worst newborn death rate in modern world, report says
    Research: 2 million babies die in first 24 hours each year worldwide

    By Jeff Green

    (CNN) -- An estimated 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours each year worldwide and the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world, according to a new report.

    American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway, Save the Children researchers found.

    Only Latvia, with six deaths per 1,000 live births, has a higher death rate for newborns than the United States, which is tied near the bottom of industrialized nations with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with five deaths per 1,000 births.

    "The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn rate is higher than any of those countries," said the annual State of the World's Mothers report.

    The report, which analyzed data from governments, research institutions and international agencies, found higher newborn death rates among U.S. minorities and disadvantaged groups. For African-Americans, the mortality rate is nearly double that of the United States as a whole, with 9.3 deaths per 1,000 births.

    Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst place in the world to be a mother or child, with Scandinavian nations again taking the top spots in the rankings by the Connecticut-based humanitarian group.

    The "Mothers' Index" in the report ranks 125 nations according to 10 gauges of well-being -- six for mothers and four for children -- including objective measures such as lifetime mortality risk for mothers and infant mortality rate and subjective measures such as the political status of women.

    Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children, said the report card "illustrates the direct line between the status of mothers and the status of their children."

    "In countries where mothers do well, children do well," he said in a written statement accompanying the report.

    But each year, according to the report, more than a half-million women die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth difficulties, 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours, 2 million more die within their first month and 3 million are stillborn.

    As Americans celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, "5,000 mothers will mourn the loss of the newborn they bear that very day in the developing world," said Anne Tinker, director of Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives initiative.

    "All children, no matter where they are born, deserve a healthy start in life," Melinda Gates wrote in a foreword to the report, which was funded in part by the foundation she runs with her husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

    MacCormack said "significant progress" had been made in reducing deaths in children under age 5 in recent years, but "we have made little progress in reducing mortality rates for babies during the first month of life."

    Causes of death in the developing world were dramatically different from those in the developed world, the report said. In industrialized nations deaths were most likely to result from babies being born too small or too early, while in the developing world about half of newborn deaths were from infection, tetanus and diarrhea.

    The newborn mortality rate in the United States has fallen in recent decades, the report said, but continues to affect minorities disproportionately.

    Only 17 percent of all U.S. births were to African-American families, but 33 percent of all low-birthweight babies were African-American, according to the report.

    The research also found that poorer mothers with less education were at a significantly higher risk of early delivery. The study added that in general lower educational attainment was associated with higher newborn mortality.

    Tinker said Japan was among a number of nations highly ranked mainly because they offer free health services for pregnant women and babies, while the United States suffers from disparities in access to health care.

    "We can do better here, but what's really important is that we do something" in the developing world, she said.

    The report said almost all newborn and maternal deaths take place in developing nations -- 99 percent and 98 percent, respectively. The newborn mortality rates were particularly high in countries with a recent history of armed conflict, including Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    But the report also concluded that political will was more important than national wealth. A "newborn scorecard" ranking 78 developing nations found that some relatively impoverished countries -- including Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Vietnam -- fare better than others.

    Ranking at the bottom of the scorecard were Liberia, Afghanistan, Angola and Iraq -- countries where armed conflict and cultural practices impede newborn survival.

    "It's tragic that millions of newborns die every year, especially when these deaths are so easily preventable," Gates wrote. "Three out of four newborn deaths could be avoided with simple, low-cost tools that already exist, such as antibiotics for pneumonia, sterile blades to cut umbilical cords and knit caps to keep babies warm."
    'The good news'

    The Mothers' Index -- which excluded some nations that lacked sufficient data -- highlights huge disparities between the nations at the top and the bottom of the list.

    Compared with mothers in the top 10 countries, a mother in the bottom 10 was found to be more than 750 times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth.

    In top-ranked Sweden, skilled personnel are present at nearly all births, but in bottom-ranked Niger, such help is available for only 16 percent of women in labor.

    "The good news," said MacCormack, "is that we know what it takes to help these moms and children survive and thrive."

    The report highlights the three areas it says have the most influence on child well-being: female education, presence of a trained attendant at birth and use of family planning services.

    Educated women, the report said, are more likely to marry and give birth later in life, to seek health care and to encourage education for their children, including girls.

    The report said that family planning and increased contraception use leads to lower maternal and infant death rates. Many women and children in developing nations, it said, die as a result of births that come at the wrong time -- too close together, too early or too late in the mother's life.

  2. That is what happens when you let in tens of millions of people from third world countries from South America and Africa. They just continue their third world living patterns.

    Our foreign aid should come in one form - massive shipments of RU486 to Africa and Mexico.
  3. Pabst


    Are you implying that a diet of Kools, crack and Colt45 is conducive to natal fatalities?
  4. jem


    Causes of death in the developing world were dramatically different from those in the developed world, the report said. In industrialized nations deaths were most likely to result from babies being born too small or too early, while in the developing world about half of newborn deaths were from infection, tetanus and diarrhea.
    This is the key sentence of the report. Our NICUs can and do keep babies without brains alive.

    We save everything too often. Babies live a month here that are not touched in other countries. Other countries say babies under 1000 or 1500 grams receive no treatment. Here it is a case by case decision. And the doctors frequently save em. Our NICUs are too good.
  5. I don't believe the article provides any insight into the causes.

    But it sais that Only 17 percent of all U.S. births were to African-American families. And they are only 12.5% of population. Go figure whose death reate is high.
  6. Just you wait until we get socialized medicine . . .
  7. Jeez Nick, are you really retarded?

    "American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway, Save the Children researchers found."

    All these countries have Universal (socialized) healthcare.
  8. The compassion expressed by the resident "compassionate conservatives" about the unborn children and their mothers, doesn't seem to extend to those mothers and children the moment the child is out of the womb....
  9. Z10 printed another article like this about 6 months ago and never replied to my answer. Following is the post I put on the last thread:

    Quote from ZZZzzzzzzz:

    So your defense of our high infant mortality rates is that we are a drug addicted alcoholic society?


    No my defense is that it is not a lack of health care that causes the high infant mortality rate, but rather the irresponsibility of individuals who are pregnant. Many drug addicts refuse pre-natal care because they are getting high, and don't want it known that they are.

    Aside from malformations, which is the leading cause of infant mortality, low birth weight babies are the second cause. What is the leading cause of malformations? Low birth weight is. I did not mention in my previous post smoking which was a huge error on my part because smoking during pregnancy is a major contributor to low birth weight.

    The leading PREVENTABLE cause of birth defects is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 1 in 30 pregnant women admit to risk drinking which means more than 1 oz. of alcohol per day. Yet, FAS or other alcohol related problems effect a larger percentage of children being born with birth defects.

    It has also been estimated by the CDC that 1 in 5 pregnant women used some sort of illegal substance during their pregnancy with cocaine being the leader.

    After that, teenage pregnancy is another leader because teenagers themselves are not always fully developed therefore they cannot properly nourish their babies causing low birth weight. I would venture a guess that many teenagers do not seek out prenatal care in the first trimester because they do not want to tell anyone that they are pregnant. Alcohol and drug use also was found to be high in this group.

    20% of babies with birth defects are caused by inheriting it or chromosomal changes. This is hardly preventable.

    AIDS is the ninth leading cause of death for children ages 1-4.

    With all this said, the leading causes seem to center around a theme of doing things that you shouldn't be doing when you are pregnant. They believe that infant mortality can be reduced by 10 to 25% if women would just quit smoking while they are pregnant. That in itself would probably put us lower than Cuba for the mortality rate. It would probably makes us the lowest. Who in this country does not know that smoking is bad for you? If you don't, instead of spending more money on health care as you see it, we really need to open up more mental health facilities and start admitting these people because they are a danger to themselves. Or, we can realize that they do not care and choose to kill their own babies. We can't stop them from doing this because they have "constitutional" rights to protect them. It is really sad that a child does not have a chance for life because the mother does not want to do what is best for the baby. I always see commercials offering pre-natal care to mothers who need assistance, but if they are not going to quit their bad habits, there is nothing that can be done.

    All of the information that I got came from the Centers for Disease Control and the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. I will tell you that the PCRM also believes that we need to put more money into healthcare, but I disagree. One reason is, of course physicians want more money sent their way, who doesn't, and two, we would have more money for pre-natal care (which is offered already to women in need anyways), if we didn't have to spend so much caring for the children who are already affected. Pre-natal care is a great way to prevent many of the problems, nobody can disagree with that. The decision of the mother not to take the advice of their doctor and continue doing things to jeopardize their child's life is the problem. No amount of money is going to stop a drug/alcohol/cigarette addict from continuing their dangerous lifestyle.
  10. Ricter


    So the prosperity the U.S. enjoys now is the result of who, the native Americans? I ask because the first European settlers here lived in what we would have to describe as a third world level.

    Edit: anyway, we should be allowed to compare only the infant mortality rate of our wealthiest classes with those other countries, because they are our best and brightest people.
    #10     May 9, 2006