Infants born to teens have highest mortality rate

U.S. infants born to teenagers in 2017-18 were more likely to die within the first year of life than infants born to women 20 or older, the CDC reports.

The CDC examined 2017-18 data on all infant deaths under age 1, as collected by the National Vital Statistics System. Infant mortality rates are presented per 1,000 live births, while rates for specific deaths are per 100,000 live births. 

Five report takeaways:

1. Infants of teenagers aged 15-19 had the highest infant, neonatal and postneonatal mortality rates. 

2. When compared with births among women 20 years and older, teen pregnancies had higher rates of neonatal and infant mortality, preterm birth, low birthweight, and maternal complications. 

3. The five leading causes of death for infants born to teens were disorders related to preterm birth and low birthweight, congenital malformations, unintentional injuries, sudden infant death syndrome and maternal pregnancy complications. 

4. Infants of Black teens had the highest mortality rate (12.54), compared to infants of non-Hispanic white (8.43) and Hispanic (6.47) teens.

5. Total infant, neonatal and postneonatal mortality rates were highest for infants born to Black teens and lowest for infants born to Hispanic teens.

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