Arizona Reports An 11% Rise In Infant Mortality Rate

The State of Arizona’s infant mortality rate increased by 11% compared to the previous year, which is now higher than the national average.

In Arizona, the rate of infant mortality is now 6 deaths per 1,000 live births which is higher compared to the national rate of 5.6 fatalities per 1,000 births.

Prematurity, congenital anomalies, motor vehicle crashes, suffocation, and firearm injuries were the major contributors to overall childhood mortality. Sadly the state is tracking that fatalities of children due to abuse and neglect has increased risen by 12% since 2022.

The Arizona Department of Health Services released their yearly report on Nov. 15 of the fatalities of children under the age of 18 in the state of Arizona in the preceding year. The report assessed the deaths of 875 minors.

The primary factor of mortality for babies from 0 to 27 days of age was premature birth, whereas the leading cause of death for those from 28 days to one year was suffocation. For children in the age range 1 to 4, drowning was the major cause. Motor vehicle crashes was the main cause of children aged 5 to 14, while firearms were responsible for the passing of those between 15 and 17.

The number of children who passed was an 1.4% increase from the 863 children who died in 2021. Twenty-seven of the fatalities were of children from other states.

Since 2013, the report has revealed that babies of African American and Native American backgrounds have had a higher rate of infant mortality than other children. Though Black children constitute only 6% of the total child population, they accounted for 27% of all drowning fatalities in 2022. Similarly, although only 5% of the child population is made up of American Indians, they made up 14% of all motor vehicle crash deaths.

In 2019, the infant mortality rate for Black infants was 12.2 deaths per 1,000 live births, and for American Indian and Alaska Native infants it was 9.2 per 1,000 live births. Meanwhile, the rate for Hispanic and White infants was 5.7 and 4.9 fatalities per 1,000 live births correspondingly.

After examination by local assessors, it was decided that 390 child fatalities were avoidable (45% of all fatalities). Motor vehicle crashes were the main source of these deaths, with 81 children succumbing to them last year, signifying an 11% rise compared to 2021. Further, 61 kids died from suffocation.

In total, 455 child deaths were deemed likely not able to be prevented (52%), while teams were unable to decide the preventability of the other 30 (3%).

In Arizona’s urban counties, the primary cause of infant mortality was low birthweight at 64%, followed by poverty at 57%. In rural counties, poverty was the most prevalent factor in infant deaths at 66%, with low birthweight coming in second at 53%. Overall, poverty was found to be a factor in 59% of infant deaths under 1 year of age.