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Infant Mortality

  • By: Barbara Gurr
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The term infant mortality refers to the death of children under 1 year of age. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of children under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births in a given population. Infant mortality is used to compare the health and well-being of populations across and within countries. It is commonly divided into neonatal (under 28 days old) and postneonatal (28 days to 12 months old). There are many potential causes of infant mortality, although not all of them are fully understood.

Leading Causes of Infant Mortality

Until the 1990s, the most common cause of infant mortality worldwide has been dehydration from diarrhea. The successful distribution and use of oral rehydration solution (a mixture of salt, sugar, and water) ...

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