Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Infant Mortality

  • Linda C. Baumann
  • Alyssa Karel
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_119


Infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths, defined as children under the age of 1 year old, per 1,000 live births in a given year. Infant mortality is used as a major health indicator globally because it is associated with numerous factors that determine a country’s overall level of health that include maternal health, prenatal care access, healthcare system quality and access, public health practices, and socioeconomic conditions.


Another indicator used to measure the health status of a country is the under five mortality rate. The under five mortality rate is the probability of a child born in a specific year or period dying before the age of 5, expressed as a number per 1,000 live births. The World Health Organization (WHO) Millennium Development Goals (MDG) has identified the reduction of under five mortality rate by two thirds as goal number 4 to be achieved by 2015.

Variations in infant mortality rates and under five mortality rates are monitored...

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References and Readings

  1. Denburg, A., & Daneman, D. (2010). The link between social inequality and child health outcomes. Healthcare Quarterly, 14, 21–31.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Eliminating Disparities in Infant Mortality. (2007). Office of Minority health and disparities. Retrieved August 14, 2010, from http://www.cdc.gov/omhd/amh/factsheets/infant.htm
  3. Rajaratnam, J. K., Marcus, J. R., Flaxman, A. D., Wang, H., Levin-Rector, A., Dwyer, L., et al. (2010). Neonatal, postneonatal, childhood, and under-5 mortality for 187 countries, 1970-2010: a systematic analysis of progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4. The Lancet, 375, 1988–2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Wong, D., Hockenberry, M., Wilson, D., Perry, S., & Lowdermilk, D. (2006). Maternal child nursing care (3rd ed.). St Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.Google Scholar
  5. World Healh Organization. (2010). MDG 4: Reduce child mortality. Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://www.who.int/topics/millennium_development_goals/child_mortality/en/
  6. World Health Organization. (2010). World health statistics 2010. Geneva: Author.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA