Stanislaus County Sees Upswing in Infant Mortality
The infant mortality rate in Stanislaus County continues to rise, exceeding rates at the state and national levels, according to a study released Thursday by the county Health Services Agency, the Modesto Bee reports.
- 47 infant deaths in the county in 2006, compared to 32 in 2005; and
- 27 fetal deaths in 2006 after five month's gestation, compared to 21 in 2005.
The study noted that the county's infant mortality rate is 6.8 per 1,000 live births, compared to the state's rate of 5.4 deaths per 1,000 births. The mortality rate also ranked 53rd among California's 58 counties last year.
Researchers also found that infant deaths were more prevalent among single women and that about one-quarter of the women whose infants died were teenagers.
The study found the two leading causes of death were malformations while the fetus developed in the womb and premature births.
Researchers recommended a greater focus on quality prenatal care and prevention of drug, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 11/16).
Meanwhile, a study released Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California found that while the teen pregnancy rate continues to decline statewide, the Northern San Joaquin Valley had a higher rate than most other regions, the Modesto Bee reports.
Researchers studied birthrate data from 2000 to 2005.
The study found the highest teen pregnancy rates among Hispanics and the lowest among whites and Asians (Hightower, Modesto Bee, 11/16).