Hamilton County has seen 41 fewer infant deaths in the past three years, a 13% decline compared to the three years prior. This success is not the result of any one organization; it is the result of increased levels of partnership throughout the community.

2010_2013-v-2013_2016-table-new

Source: Ohio Vital Records and Hamilton County Fetal and Infant Mortality Review; 2016 data is provisional; sleep death range reflects 2016 pending cases

Improvement has accelerated recently with fewer local babies dying in the first half of 2016 than during any other 6 month period on record. Provisional numbers show 45 Hamilton County babies died between January and June of this year.  That means that our infant mortality rate was 8.3 deaths for every 1,000 live births – a rate that is still higher than the national rate of 5.8, but is significantly lower than the 2011-2015 Hamilton County rate of 9.3.

African American infant deaths, historically at the highest rate, have led this year’s improvement so far with a 38% drop compared to 2011-2015.

A symptom of other improvements
While the reasons for infant death are complex, there are four measurable improvements that have made a positive difference over the past 3 years:

  • Fewer babies born too soon. 201 fewer babies have been born preterm (prior to 37 weeks gestation) in the past 3 years compared to the previous three years, a 5% drop.
  • Fewer pregnancies are spaced too closely together. Pregnancies timed less than 12 months apart are significantly more likely to lead to preterm birth. Hamilton County has 9% fewer of these pregnancies in the past three years.
  • Fewer moms reported smoking during pregnancy. A 13% drop with nearly 500 fewer pregnant smokers.
  • Fewer sleep related deaths. Babies sleep safest Alone, on their Back and in a Crib. This message is spreading with fewer babies dying from accidental suffocation in their sleep, at least a 20% drop.