Aiken County's infant mortality exceeds state

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COLUMBIA --- Aiken County's infant mortality rate of 9.8 babies per 1,000 live births exceeds the state rate, which has crept up a tenth of a point to 8.5, according to new data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The new rate for Aiken County reflects a trend over several years, in which the county has usually suffered a higher rate than the state as a whole. From 2001-2007, Aiken County's average infant death rate was 10.6, while the state's was 8.9.

Of 62,933 babies born in South Carolina during 2007, the most recent year available, 538 babies died before turning 1 year old. Premature births and low birth weight, in which a baby weighs less than 5 pounds 8 ounces, are the leading causes of death.

DHEC Commissioner Earl Hunter said the state's slight increase from 2006 to 2007 should be viewed as part of a trend spanning many years.

"There will naturally be fluctuation from year to year, but to get a real sense of whether progress is being made, you have to look at the numbers over the long term," he said, noting that the death rate has declined from 12.2 in 1988 to 8.5 in 2007.

Brenda Martin, the state's Bureau of Maternal and Child Health director, listed ways to reduce the risk of a baby dying before turning 1 year old.

- Women should consult with their doctor before becoming pregnant.

- Women who find out they are pregnant should visit a health care provider as soon possible.

- Pregnant women should eat a healthy diet and not smoke.

- To reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, another leading cause, babies should be placed on their backs to sleep.

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justus4 08/14/09 - 07:56 am
These rates compare to Afghan

These rates compare to Afghan and China regarding births and deaths. Cuba probably has better numbers, but this country's population is still talking about "we're number one or we have the best health care in the world" In view of these birth deaths, what a complete & sad joke.

bettyboop 08/14/09 - 11:11 am
justus it's not the gubnents

justus it's not the gubnents fault theses babies are's the mothers who are to ignorant to get health care.. which by the way is free for them..there are more giveaways out there for "poor" pregnant women and children than you can shake a stick at....and by the way are they still murdering girl babies by the thousands in China?

scoobynews 08/14/09 - 11:25 am
I agree with damemarystuart!

I agree with damemarystuart! I know plenty of "poor" women that have had babies and the government footed the bill. Then there are those of us that are still getting a bill from University every month because we PAY for insurance and still have a minimum deductable. My son was born six months ago and I am still PAYING the bill of $900 bucks. A friend that is withouth insurance or health care had her daughter 2 months before my son do you want to know what she owes the hopital - NOTHING??? Why because me and every other tax payer has footed the bill. She also qualifies for WIC and guess what I make too much money to get WIC. Yeah health care in this country is a joke isn't it. Those of us that PAY for it pay dearly while the so called less fortunate get every freebie there is that our government is willing to shell out from the backs of the working class!

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