Analysis of Feto-Infant Mortality Using the BABIES Framework: Georgia 1981-83 through 2001-03
Purpose: To measure changes in Georgia’s fetoinfant mortality rate (FIMR) from 1981-83 to 2001-03, whether excess feto-infant mortality persists and, if so, to identify interventions to reduce the excess FIMR. Methods: Using vital records data from Georgia and the BABIES (birth weight and age-at-death boxes for intervention and evaluation system) approach, we calculated the total and excess birthweight proportionate FIMR for non-Hispanic ispanic whites and blacks (combined) declined from 24.6 to 10.5 feto-infant deaths per 1,000. For 2001-03, the excess FIMR for blacks was 11.8 compared to 3.6 for whites, with the largest proportion of excess FIMR being attributable to poor women’s health status for both groups (56% for blacks, 34% for whites). Conclusions: Despite a large reduction in Georgia’s FIMR from 1981-83 to 2001-03, substantial excess feto-infant mortality persists. The largest proportion of Georgia’s excess FIMR was attributable to poor women’s health, and was greater for blacks compared to whites. Interventions to improve the health of women prior to pregnancy hold the most promise for further reducing and closing racial gaps in Georgia’s FIMR.
Keywords: Health status disparities, Perinatal mortality, Very low birth weight.