Charlotte, NC - Mecklenburg County's infant mortality rate, or the number of child deaths within the first year of life, continues to decline. In 2003, there were 12,773 births and 87 infant deaths, resulting in an infant mortality rate of 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in Mecklenburg County.
The 2003 infant mortality rate of 6.8 shows a 13.9 percent decrease from the 2002 rate of 7.9. This is lower than the state infant mortality rate (8.2) and similar to the national provisional rate (6.7). All races experienced a decline in infant mortality rates from 2002, with the rate for whites falling 11.1 percent, and the rate for minorities falling 16.7 percent. However, the infant mortality rate in minorities still remains higher than that of whites.
In Mecklenburg County, premature births, immature births (low birth weight), birth defects, and maternal complications were the leading causes of death. Prematurity and immaturity refers to infants born before 37 weeks and weighing less than 2500g, or about 5 and a half pounds. Maternal complications may or may not be related to the present pregnancy, and are usually conditions suffered by the mother -- such as diabetes or hypertension -- that may have an adverse effect on the unborn baby.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department's Maternity Care Coordination program focuses on the assessment and referral of pregnant women to community resources to promote a healthy birth outcome. Services are provided by Registered Nurses and Medical Social Workers in a clinic setting and through home visits. Also known as the "Baby Love" program, Maternity Care Coordination also provides coordination of care services to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women of Mecklenburg County as well as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) counseling.
For more information on this service,
call the Mecklenburg County Health Department at 704-336-6443.
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Media Contact: D.C. Lucchesi