Health Care


Premature Births and Infant Mortality Counterpoint

After reading several recent articles on US premature births and infant mortality in reference to the US health care, I decided to research the facts and data. The US ranks 33rd in the world in infant mortality, an indicator of the health of a nation.

Approximately 13 million worldwide are born premature and 56 million infants die within one year of birth, of which 1 million are premature. The US has 475,000 born premature and 27,000 infants die annually. Premature births occur when the infant is born before the completion of the 37th week of pregnancy.  The question is why the US has the premature birth and infant mortality rates for a nation with advanced health care?

The following are among the factors that could increase the risk of premature birth:

I have tabulated the data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CIA, however it is very spotty (especially on preterm births) and needs more consistent collection (some does not make sense).

Data of Population, Annul Births, Premature Births, Infant Mortality
Premat Premat Infant Infant
Popul. Births Births Births Births Mortal Mortal
Annul Annul Annul Annul Annul Annul
(millions) (1000s) Pop/1000 (1000s) Birth/1000 (1000s) Birth/1000
China 1338.6 18740 14.0 2101 112.1 431 23.0
India 1156.9 25220 21.8 1723 68.3 1387 55.0
U.S. 307.2 4239 13.8 475 112.1 27 6.3
Indonesia 240.3 4518 18.8 386 85.4 120 26.6
Brazil 190.0 3496 18.4 298 85.2 83 23.6
Pakistan 174.6 4819 27.6 258 53.4 325 67.5
Banglad 156.0 3853 24.7 229 59.3 202 52.5
Nigeria 149.2 5476 36.7 29 5.2 600 109.5
Russia 140.0 1554 11.1 233 149.9 26 16.6
Japan 127.1 966 7.6 206 213.2 3 3.2
Germany 82.4 676 8.2 133 197.3 3 4.3
Britan 60.3 645 10.7 97 151.1 3 4.8
Canada 32.5 335 10.3 53 157.1 2 4.8
Afghanist 28.5 1297 45.5 46 35.6 204 157.0
Uganda 26.4 1262 47.8 43 33.8 97 76.9
Australia 19.9 249 12.5 32 129.5 1 4.4
Sum 4229.9 77345 6341 3512.9
World 6796.0 137959 20.3 13000 94.2 56356 40.9
Africa 4047 119
N America 480 106
Asia 6907 91
L America 933 81
Oceania 20 64
Europe 466 62

The data considered are taken from:

It is concluded that the US still rates high for health care, and there is not much that can be changed for preterm births and infant mortality without more societal changes.

Other articles of interest:

Who are the Uninsured Health Care Counterpoint

What are some facts and who are those Americans with Uninsured Health Care:

(Most figures come from an annual report issued by the United States Census Bureau)

  1. There are 46.3 million (15.4% of population) in 2008
  2. 36-39 million of uninsured (78-85%) are naturalized citizens
  3. 14.8 million uninsured Hispanics (32.1% of Hispanics)
  4. 7.4 million blacks (19.5% of blacks) lack insurance
  5. 8.1 million children (under 18 yrs) are uninsured
  6. 8.0 million young adults (18-24 yrs) are uninsured
  7. 70% uninsured non-citizens live in California, Texas, Florida, New York
  8. 13.5 million uninsured make below $25,000/yr income
  9. 14.5 million uninsured make $25,000-$49,000/yr income
  10. 8.5 million uninsured make $50,000-$75,000/yr income
  11. 9.1 million uninsured make above $75,000/yr income
  12. 20% of uninsured are able but elect not to collect insurance
  13. 25% of uninsured are eligible for public insurance, but elect not
  14. 56% of uninsured need financial assistance
  15. 5 million uninsured are uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions
  16. The per capita spending on 46 million uninsured is about half that of the 253 million insured
  17. 83 million (27.8% of population) is covered by public government insurance

Other interesting articles for consideration:

The number of uninsured Americans is at an all time high.

US Census Bureau News

Uninsured count needs explanation

Uninsured immigrants Burden the Health Care System

 

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