July 27, 2010
As the state continues to struggle with a high infant mortality rate that undercuts its relative wealth, Maryland's overall rank in child well-being remained in the middle of the pack nationally, according to an annual report released by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation. The 2010 Kids Count Databook released Tuesday placed Maryland 25th in overall child well-being, the same ranking as a year ago. Although Maryland has the second-lowest percentage of children living in poverty (10 percent)
July 26, 2010
The state's reported progress in reducing infant mortality is to be cheered, but the fact that infant mortality increased slightly for African-Americans in 2009, and that a smaller percentage of black women received prenatal care that year, should be deeply troubling to public health officials. Persistent racial and class disparities in access to health care are the principal reasons Maryland's infant mortality rate — the number of infant deaths per thousand live births — has remained disturbingly high over the years.
July 21, 2010
Maryland's infant mortality rate dropped to its lowest point in 2009, according to preliminary statistics, but state public health officials say there is still need for improvement. The overall rate decreased to 7.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in Maryland last year, down from 8 in 2008 — a 10 percent decrease. The teen birth rate also decreased, from 2.8 births to women under 18 to 2.6, with declines recorded for black and white women. "We are so pleased this is showing positive progress," said Frances Phillips, Maryland's deputy secretary for public health.
May 25, 2010
The U.S. is the world's richest nation, yet proportionately more children die here before reaching the age of 5 than in some developing countries. That should be unacceptable in a nation that prides itself on having the best health care system on the planet. But according to the authors of two recent reports — one global, the other local — it's a price we've chosen to pay for the growing inequality of our society. On Monday, population health researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington reported that the U.S. now ranks 42 n d worst among the world's nations in child mortality rates, down from 29 t h place just 20 years ago. The next day, a study by the Baltimore City Health Department warned that residents with low incomes and little education were much more likely to become sick or die from a variety of ailments than their better-educated, more-affluent neighbors.
October 5, 2008
To Alma Roberts, Maryland's grim statistics on infant mortality affect more than babies. They serve as an indicator of the state's overall health. And she's alarmed. Maryland has struggled for a decade with infant death rates above the national average - it ranked 31st in 2005 statistics - and figures released last month showed the problem getting worse. In 2007, the infant mortality rate increased, and the racial disparity in infant deaths widened. Last year, 14 newborns died per 1,000 live births, and black infants were three times as likely as white infants to die within their first year.
June 21, 2007
Medicine has made life-saving advances in treating and preventing heart disease, the major killer of people with diabetes, yet female diabetics are dying at higher rates than three decades ago, researchers reported this week. "There's good news here; we are making progress," said Dr. Deborah Burnet, a diabetes expert at the University of Chicago. "The bad news is it appears to be limited to men." The trend has ominous public-health consequences, experts note. Diabetes is growing more common in the U.S. as the population gets older and fatter, and elderly women are the fastest-growing segment of society.