Infant mortality is defined as death occurring during the first year of life and is an important summary reflecting social, political, health care delivery and medical outcomes in a geographic area. Infant deaths can be further classified into neonatal (0-27 days) and postneonatal (28 days-under 1 year) periods. Neonatal mortality is typically associated with events surrounding the prenatal period and the delivery, whereas postneonatal deaths are more likely to be associated with conditions or events that arise after the delivery and may reflect environmental factors. Other measures of mortality associated with infant health provided on PeriStats include late fetal mortality (28 or more weeks of gestation) and perinatal mortality (fetal deaths of 28 or more weeks gestation and infant deaths in the first 7 days of life). PeriStats also provides data on maternal mortality, reflecting deaths occurring during pregnancy, childbirth or the postpartum period.
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Mortality and Morbidity
In Colorado in 2019, 305 infants died before reaching their first birthday, an infant mortality rate of 4.9 per 1,000 live births.
Between 2009 and 2019, the infant mortality rate in Colorado declined 21%.
In 2019, 63.3% of infant deaths occurred in the neonatal period, and 36.4% occurred in the postneonatal period.
Some of the leading causes of infant death in the United States include the following: birth defects; prematurity/low birthweight; sudden infant death syndrome; maternal complications of pregnancy and respiratory distress syndrome.
In Colorado in 2019, the rate of perinatal mortality was 5.2 per 1,000 live births and fetal deaths.
Notes: All race categories exclude Hispanics. An infant death occurs within the first year of life.
Sources: National Center for Health Statistics, period linked birth/infant death data. Retrieved June 7, 2023, from www.marchofdimes.org/peristats.
During 2017-2019 (average), the infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births) in Colorado was highest for black infants (7.8), followed by Hispanics (5.6), Whites (3.9) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (3.7).
Black infants (7.8) were about 2 times as likely as Asian/Pacific Islander infants (3.7) to die during the first year of life during 2017-2019 (average).