National infant mortality rate declines 12 percent

New data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reveals a 12 percent decline in the national infant mortality rate from 2005 to 2011.

The data found the infant mortality rate decreased the most among non-Hispanic black women (16 percent). Infant mortality rates among Hispanic women showed the least decline (9 percent).

There were also declines for four out of the five leading causes of infant mortality: Congenital malformations, prematurity/low birthweight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and maternal complications.

In Northeast Florida, infant mortality rates decreased 37.5 percent between 2005-2011.  For white babies, rates decreased 54 percent, for black and other babies rates decreased 24 percent.

The most significant improvements occurred in the post-neonatal death rate (a 62 percent decrease) due to a drop in sleep-related deaths.  Neonatal mortality rates decreased 20 percent in the region during this period.