The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)


November 1, 2012

N.C. infant mortality rate up slightly, SIDS deaths continue downward trend

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 — RALEIGH – Following 2010’s sharpest decline on record, North Carolina’s infant mortality rate rose only slightly for 2011 while deaths attributed to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) continued to plummet, according to statistics released recently by the Department of Health and Human Services. The 2011 rate of 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births is the state’s second lowest in history. For 2010, it was a record 7.0 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Since 2008, the infant mortality rate has dropped 12.2 percent from a rate of 8.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The health of women before, between and beyond pregnancies directly influences the health of their infants. Continued challenges identified in the 2011 data include:

Nearly half of pregnant women were overweight (24.3 percent) or obese (23.7 percent). Obesity among mothers continues to be a concern because it increases their risk for Cesarean section delivery, longer hospital stays, gestational hypertension and diabetes fetal death and birth defects.

Nearly 11 percent of women reported smoking during pregnancy.

An 8 percent increase in the Hispanic infant mortality rate.

A mortality rate among African Americans that is more than twice the rate for whites.

“It is clear that continued focus on programs to promote women’s wellness, especially in our minority populations, must be sustained if we want to make further progress in reducing infant mortality and the number of low birthweight babies,” State Health Director Laura Gerald said.  

“Women who do not engage in risk behaviors such as tobacco, alcohol and drug use and who are at a healthy weight have a better chance of having a healthy pregnancy.”

North Carolina continues to seek effective ways to reduce infant deaths and to eliminate disparities in birth outcomes:

Clinical and community programs funded through the Division of Public Health for women of childbearing age that integrate women’s wellness through provision of counseling and referral related to reproductive life planning, healthy birth spacing, smoking cessation, healthy weight, domestic violence, immunizations and the importance of the postpartum visit.

Trainings by DPH staff and partners (N.C. March of Dimes/Preconception Health Campaign) on best practices in the care of women of childbearing years for health care providers, high school students, teachers and lay health workers.

Evidence-based programs like Healthy Beginnings, Baby Love Plus and Healthy Start Corps that North Carolina has made to reduce infant death and improve equities in birth outcomes.

Deaths attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) continued a downward trend to 50 in 2011, down from 136 in 2008, according to the data collected by the State Center for Health Statistics.

There has been a 60 percent reduction in SIDS rates and deaths since 1994 when DHHS began the Back to Sleep campaign.

The SIDS effort included a bilingual Infant Safe Sleep campaign which emphasized best practices such as a safe sleep environment, breastfeeding, appropriate room temperature, back to sleep positioning and elimination of tobacco smoke exposure.

That effort was coordinated by the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation in partnership with other public and private entities through May 2012.

“The SIDS numbers show the beneficial effects of prevention efforts,” said Dr. Gerald.

“But we still have a lot of work to do, particularly with improving some of the disparities that the numbers bear out.”

Small reductions in elective C-section rates have also occurred. With new efforts such as the Pregnancy Medical Home, a DPH partnership with Division of Medical Assistance and Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC); and the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of N.C., another partnership effort, these numbers are expected to continue to improve.

The number of births decreased for the fourth consecutive year, dipping from a record in 2007 of 130,886 to 120,403 in 2011. That represents a 1.6 percent decrease from the previous year’s 122,302.

For a copy of the full report visit:

Text Only
  • Environmental Professional to Speak on Water, Air Pollution at Catawba College

    Rick Dove, environmental consultant and former Southeastern Representative for the Waterkeeper Alliance, will speak on “North Carolina’s Environment in the Eye of the Perfect Storm” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, at Catawba College.

    April 22, 2014

  • N.C.’s longest-serving university president announces retirement

    Wingate, N.C. – Dr. Jerry E. McGee, Wingate University’s 13th president, announced plans today to retire in May 2015. McGee is N.C.’s longest-serving university president. At the time of his retirement, he will have served at Wingate for 23 years. McGee’s remarks are available on YouTube:

    April 22, 2014

  • NCSU STUDY: Finding the Mix: Solar Cell Efficiency a Delicate Balance

    Research from North Carolina State University reveals that solar cell efficiency is based upon a delicate balance between the size and purity of the interior layers, or domains. These findings may lead to better designs and improved performance in organic solar cells.

    March 30, 2014

  • William Shatner.jpg Shatner, Hogan, Elvira and more prepare for Mad Monster Party

    Prepare to boldly go where no man has gone before.

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • DOT closes roads in Cabarrus due to flooding

    Charlotte - Heavy rains over the last several hours have prompted the N.C. Department of Transportation to temporarily close several roads in Cabarrus County flooded by rising waters. Sections of Rocky River may reach 17 feet and spill over its banks today, while localized flooding is still possible across parts of the Charlotte region through this afternoon.

    March 7, 2014

  • Highlight of Town Creek Under the Stars will be the Moon on March 15

    Mount Gilead – Town Creek Indian Mound will host Town Creek Under Stars on Saturday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m.  Participants will view the nearly full Moon and learn fun moon facts.  The March full moon, called many different things by various American Indian tribes, was an important one in that it marked the end of cold weather and the beginning of spring

    March 3, 2014

  • NCDOT Will Close A Section Of Wilshire Avenue In Cabarrus County For Bridge Replacement

    The N.C. Department of Transportation will temporarily close a section of Wilshire Avenue in Concord at 8 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting. Crews will replace the bridge over Irish Buffalo Creek, requiring the road to remain closed through November 1.

    February 25, 2014

  • Concord Mills adds Sea Life Charlotte-Concord to its brand of shopping

    CONCORD – Concord Mills, the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in North Carolina, has added Sea Life Charlotte-Concord to its roster of popular retail stores, plus family dining and entertainment options. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord will further solidify Concord Mills’ position as a leading attraction for local shoppers and visitors from across the U.S. and beyond, according to the shopping giant.

    February 20, 2014

  • GRITS: The Musical returns to Wingate University this weekend

    Wingate, N.C. – GRITS: The Musical (Girls Raised In The South) returns to The Batte Center at Wingate University this weekend. Based on southern stories in the book by Deborah Ford, Erica McGee, president of McGee Productions, wrote the script and songs for the musical. The musical premiered at Wingate University in 2008.

    February 18, 2014

  • DENR staff working with utility at site of Dan River spill in Rockingham County

    RALEIGH – Staff with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources have been alerted to a spill of coal ash from a stormwater pipe into the Dan River in Eden and are on-site working with Duke Energy officials to control the spill to protect public health and the environment.

    February 4, 2014

Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide