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While the infant mortality rate in the U.S. has long been near the bottom for industrialized nations,  African American babies suffer a fate that is different, dying at a rate of 13.3 deaths per 1,000, almost double the national average and higher than Sri Lanka’s.

Despite a host of efforts to combat these statistics, the numbers have begun to increase in several cities, leaving public health officials questioning the factor that once explained the racial gap in infant mortality.

Recent studies have shown that poverty, education, access to prenatal care, smoking and even low birth weight do not alone explain the racial gap in infant mortality, and that even black women with graduate degrees are more likely to lose a child in its first year than are white women who did not finish high school. Research is now focusing on stress as a factor and whether black women have shorter birth canals.

Read more at the NY Times.

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Death Rate For NJ Black Babies In First Year Twice As High As Whites

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