MONDAY, April 10, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The mortality rate of infants of teens decreased 16.7 percent from 1996 to 2019, with a significant decline across racial and ethnic and urbanization subgroups, according to a study published online April 10 in Pediatrics.

Ashley M. Woodall, M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used 1996 to 2019 period-linked birth and infant death data to assess biennial mortality rates per 1,000 live births. Trends and differences in mortality for infants of teens were examined by race and ethnicity and urbanicity.

The researchers found that the mortality rate for infants of teens decreased 16.7 percent from 1996 to 2019, from 10.30 to 8.58 deaths per 1,000 live-births. Across racial and ethnic and urbanization subgroups, the decline was significant; mortality rates did not change significantly for infants of Black or Hispanic teens within rural counties. Overall, 93.3 percent of the difference between 1996 and 2019 infant mortality rates was due to changes in age-specific (infant) mortality rates; changes in maternal age distribution accounted for 6.7 percent of the difference.

“To advance health equity in maternal and infant health, additional research may help further elucidate the social and structural factors that have contributed to the lack of progress in mortality rates for infants of Black and Hispanic teens in rural counties,” the authors write.

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