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October 1993

Birth-Weight–Specific Infant Mortality Risks and Leading Causes of Death: Illinois, 1980-1989

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Epidemiologic Studies (Drs Alo and Howe) and the Illinois Center for Health Statistics (Dr Nelson), Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield.

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(10):1085-1089. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160340071017

• Objective.  —To describe birth-weight–specific differences in mortality risks between white and black Illinois infants by age at death and leading cause of death.

Design.  —Population-based birth cohort study.

Setting.  —State of Illinois.

Patients.  —All Illinois infants who were born from 1980 through 1989 and reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The death certificates of these infants were matched to corresponding birth certificates using a computerized linkage algorithm.

Interventions.  —None.

Results.  —The high black infant mortality rate is attributable to higher mortality risks in the neonatal period for black, normal birth-weight infants and in the postneonatal period for all black infants, regardless of birth weight.

Conclusion.  —Efforts to narrow the black-white gap in infant mortality and to reduce black mortality should not be limited to reduction of low birth weight and premature birth in black infants but should also include efforts to reduce risk factors associated with mortality among normal birth-weight black infants.(AJDC. 1993;147:1085-1089)