Infant mortality falls faster in Mississippi than nationwide

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s health officer says Mississippi’s infant mortality rate is falling faster than the national rate, but is still high.

Dr. Mary Currier says the rate fell 28 percent between 2005 and 2014. That included a 15 percent drop from 2005 through 2013, compared to a national drop of 13 percent – national statistics for last year are still out.

Currier tells The Clarion-Ledger last year’s biggest drop was in the Delta: from 12.4 of every 1,000 babies in 2013 to 8.2 per thousand in 2014 – the same as the statewide rate.

Most infant deaths in Mississippi are among premature babies. Dr. Charlene Collier of the University of Mississippi Medical Center tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the state still has the nation’s highest prematurity rate.