Maternal & Infant Health Maternal & Infant Health

Goal:

All Calhoun County infants will be born healthy and thrive.

Uncertain
Uncertain

Maternal-Child Health

Background

Infants born preterm or with low birthweight are at increased risk of physical and cognitive health deficits throughout their lifetime (Walker, 2011). Infants born to low-income women and/or black women are at higher risk of being born preterm or with low birthweight. Additionally, diabetes and hypertension are more common among women from these groups, and these maternal conditions further increase the likelihood of giving birth to a low birthweight or preterm infant (Zhang, 2011).

Findings

The black/white difference in preterm or low birthweight infant rates as shown by a rate ratio in Battle Creek neighborhoods is shown on the map below (Figure 7), based on a three-year rolling average for 2011 vital birth records data (average of 2010-12 births). The darker the color, the higher the rates of blacks compared to whites.

 

Figure 7. Black preterm and low birthweight births by census tract, Calhoun County, three year rolling average, 2011.

 

Births to low-income women and black women. The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program targets interventions to high risk (black, low income, teen) first time mothers in the county. The racial profiles of the NFP program compared with Medicaid first births and the overall County census for 2013 are shown in Figure 8, below.

 

Figure 8. Calhoun County NFP births (2011-2015) by race, compared with Medicaid first births (2012) and Calhoun County population (2013).

 

Infant Mortality. In 2013, the infant mortality rate in Calhoun County was 10.1 (deaths per 1,000 live births), compared with the infant mortality rate of 7.6 for the state of Michigan. For comparison, the Healthy People 2020 national goal is for the infant death rate to be less than 4.5.

 

Racial disparity in infant outcomes is seen in the infant mortality statistics by race. In Calhoun County in 2013, black infants made up 16.9% of the births, but were 45.5% of the infants who died during the same year.

 

The racial disparity has, however, decreased in recent years, from a difference in rates of 13.8 (20.2-6.4) deaths per 1,000 for 2010-12 three year average to 7.9 (13.8-5.9) in three year rolling average from 2011-13. This is primarily due to decreases in black infant mortality rates.

 

During 2011-13 in Michigan, the infant death rate among blacks was 13.8 per 1,000 infant births, more than double the infant death rate for whites (5.9).

Infant mortality rates for Calhoun County and the state are compared in Table 1, below, and Figure 9 shows a comparison between 2013 infant mortality rates in the county, state, and the nation.

 

Calhoun County

2010 - 2012

State of Michigan

2010 - 2012

Calhoun County

2011-2013

State of Michigan

2011-2013

Black Infants 20.2 13.8 13,8 13.4
White Infants 6.4 5.3 5.9 5.3

 

 

Figure 9. Infant death rate, Calhoun County, 2013.

 

Summary

The infant mortality rate has decreased in the county over the past several years, primarily due to a decrease in the black infant mortality rate. Infants born to low-income, black women in Calhoun County remain at increased risk of adverse birth outcomes such as low birthweight and pre-term birth and have higher infant mortality rates than white infants born in the county, but are approaching the rates for black infants born in the state of Michigan as a whole. Programs such as the Nurse-Family Partnership, that target low-income, black women in the county,  appear justified and continue to be needed to further reduce infant mortality rates in the county and to improve infant outcomes among low-income and minority residents.

Other Indicators

Access to Care

Access to Care

All Calhoun County residents will have 100% access to health care and preventative services.

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