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Program Expansion

Infant Death

Leading Causes of Infant Mortality

Leading Causes of Infant Mortality

In the United States, about 27,600 infants died in 2002. The three leading causes of infant death were congenital anomalies (birth defects), preterm/LBW and SIDS. Together, these three causes were to blame for almost half of the infant deaths in 2002.

Other causes of death included maternal complications, complications during the pregnancy, birth complications, infant respiratory problems, infection and other illnesses. The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2002 accounted for 68.4 percent of all infant deaths in the United States.

Table 5.1 : Ten Leading Causes of Infant Death

  1. Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities
  2. Disorders related to short gestation and LBW, not elsewhere classified
  3. SIDS
  4. Newborn affected by maternal complications of pregnancy
  5. Newborn affected by complications of placenta, cord and membranes
  6. Accidents
  7. Respiratory distress of newborn
  8. Bacterial sepsis of newborn
  9. Diseases of the circulatory system
  10. Intrauterine hypoxia and birth asphyxia

Based on the Tenth Revision International Classification of Diseases, 1992