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Commentary
April 13, 2005

How Healthy Are US Children?

Author Affiliations
 

Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, NY (Dr Stein); Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine/Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit (Dr Stanton); and Departments of Pediatrics and Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions, Baltimore (Dr Starfield).

JAMA. 2005;293(14):1781-1783. doi:10.1001/jama.293.14.1781

By conventional measures that focus on diseases, injuries, and mortality, children in the United States are healthier now than even a few decades ago. They are less likely to die in childhood and more likely to be protected by immunizations against serious infectious diseases.1,2 Rates of death from injuries and exposures to some environmental hazards have decreased.35 The infant mortality rate has declined from 26 per 1000 in 1960 to 7 per 1000 in 2003, while the mortality rate among those younger than 5 years has declined from 30 per 1000 to 8 per 1000 during these years.6

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