Oklahoma Slipping in Infant Mortality Ranking

Jun 11, 2018

 

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Advocates say Oklahoma has lost much of the progress made over recent years to reduce infant deaths.

Oklahoma ranks 47th in the United States for infant deaths, according to The Oklahoman , which reported that, on average, 7.7 of every 1,000 babies born in the state die before their first birthday.

Kelli McNeal is supervisor of the fetal infant mortality review board at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. She says the primary drivers of infant mortality rates include smoking, prescription drug abuse, and unsafe sleep settings. She says some of those issues are "some of the most preventable."

According to the Oklahoma March of Dimes, around 21 percent of Oklahoma women who are of childbearing age smoke, and 12 percent of women smoke while pregnant.