Genesee County’s Infant Mortality Rate Lowest in 25 Years

From Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health:

Genesee County’s infant death rate has dropped to an all-time low, according to new data from the Department of Community Health. The county rate for 2010 was 5.7 per 1,000 live births, considerably less than the rate of 9.4 per 1,000 live births in 2009.

The Genesee County Health Department–a member of MCMCH–announced the 2010 data earlier this month. Most notable is the drop in the city of Flint’s African American infant death rate. Flint’s average infant death rate for 2010 was 7.5 per 1,000 live births, a decrease from 18.9 per 1,000 live births during 2009 and 12.6 in 2008. The Genesee County African American infant death rate in 2010 was 7.9, a significant drop from the 2009 rate of 20.3 per 1,000 live births. The disparity in death rates among African American infants has historically been 2-3 times greater that that of white infants.

Focused efforts among many Flint and Genesee County organizations are credited for the improved medical, social, and environmental services and conditions for African American families. The infant mortality rate is well known as an indicator of overall health, especially maternal health.

While infant death rates have been trending downward since 2007, only 2010 has shown
a drastic reduction for African Americans. It will take several years of trends before it is known if
the 2010 rates were an anomaly or the beginning of a substantial improvement.