Infant Mortality Rate

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Kansas health officials say the state continues to search for ways to improve its infant mortality death rate.

The state’s overall rate in 2012 was 6.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. That’s above the national rate of 5.9 out of 1,000 live births.

The Wichita Eagle reports Kansas also has historically high rates of mortality for black infants, which is three times higher than whites, even though all of the rates have declined in the last 20 years. State statistics also show that rural and densely settled rural areas have higher infant mortality rates than urban counties.

The leading cause of infant mortality in Kansas was premature or low birth weight, followed by congenital abnormalities and SIDS or suffocation in bed.