Infant Health

Archive Report

National Lag in Infant Health Care

At a recent obstetrical congress in Holland, an American physician was shocked to hear the United States described as an “underdeveloped country” in maternal and infant health care. Reasons for the statement are not hard to find. About 21 of every 1,000 infants born in this country die before age one—an infant mortality rate that is more than 50 per cent higher than Sweden's. The United States now ranks 13th in infant mortality, a slippage from sixth place only two decades ago. This slippage has occurred despite the fact that the rate has been improving since the turn of the century, with only brief interruption in the late 1950s.

This apparent paradox lies in the fact that many other industrial ...

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