A new report posted on CNN.com focuses on infant mortality, and the fact that Mississippi has the nation’s highest infant mortality rate. The report includes data from the Mississippi State Department of Health, which states that for every 1,000 Mississippi babies born in 2011, 9.4 of them died before their first birthday.

Several possible causes were mentioned for this troubling statistic.  For starters, there appears to be a strong correlation between poverty, teen birth, and infant mortality rates.  Mississippi leads the nation in all three categories.  Other causes focused on the health of the mother.  Obesity, smoking, and access to prenatal care have a significant impact on infant health.

The article also addresses the racial disparities in infant health.  Here’s an except:

CDC data spanning from 2006 to 2008 show that black Americans in Hawaii, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin all have infant mortality rates above 15 per 1,000 live births. This racial disparity is very much present in Mississippi, too, where the rate over that period was 7.07 for white children compared with 13.82 for black children.

You can read the entire report by clicking here.  You can also find additional information from the article by clicking on the links below.

CDC Infant Mortality Data

March of Dime’s Premature Birth Report Card

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