Low Birth Weight and Neonatal and Infant Mortality in the United States: Trends and Current Issues

  • Kwang-Sun Lee
  • Diana Woo
  • Jung-Hwan Choi


Throughout history, socioeconomic development has been a fundamental prerequisite for the evolution of improvement in the health status of a population. The inverse relationship between infant mortality and the level of economic development is remarkable even to this day (Fig. 9.1).1,2 In the United States, infant mortality did not begin to show a significant reduction until the beginning of this century; the rate remained at 150 to 160/1000 live births between 1840 and 1900.3 Not until after 1910 did a precipitous drop in infant mortality occur, with a rate of 89/1000 live births reached in 1919.3 This remarkable decrease in infant mortality during the first half of this century was realized even before the widespread use of antibiotics and mass immunization; it coincided with a simultaneous and progressive improvement in economic and general living conditions (Fig. 9.2).4,5


Birth Weight Live Birth Infant Mortality Prenatal Care Stressful Life Event 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kwang-Sun Lee
  • Diana Woo
  • Jung-Hwan Choi

There are no affiliations available

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