The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released data showing a concerning increase in the infant mortality rate in 2022, marking the first rise in over two decades.
According to the report, the infant mortality rate rose by 3% last year, with a total of 20,538 infant deaths recorded. This is a significant shift from the steady decline that has been observed over the past 20 years. In 2020, the infant mortality rate was recorded at 5.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.
This upward trend seems to be continuing into 2023, with preliminary data indicating higher rates in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2022. The increase was particularly noticeable among mothers aged 25-29.
The data are estimates based on birth and death records submitted to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. The CDC is committed to improving birth outcomes and reducing infant mortality, but these recent figures indicate a troubling reversal of previous progress.
Experts have described the increase as 'disturbing,' highlighting the need for further research to understand the underlying causes of this trend and develop effective strategies to combat it.
The CDC has not yet provided detailed explanations for the increase, but it is expected to shed more light on the factors contributing to this unfortunate development in upcoming reports.