Child Health USA 2003

 Child Health USA 2003

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Home | Table of Contents | Preface | Introduction | Population Characteristics |
Health Status-Infants
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City Data

In this Section:
Birth Weight | Infant Mortality | Prenatal Care

City Data

How does the health of infants and children in America's cities compare to that of children nationwide? This section presents data on infant mortality, low birth weight, and prenatal care for women and children who reside in the nation's cities with populations over 100,000 residents.

As the following data indicate, the health status of children living in large U.S. cities is generally inferior to that of children in the nation as a whole. In 2001, the percentage of infants born at low birth weight was 9 percent higher for residents of U.S. cities compared to the national average (8.4 percent versus 7.7 percent). While the infant mortality rate has decreased in both cities and the nation, a difference in rates remains. Higher rates of low birth weight contributed to the 2000 city infant mortality rate of 7.5 deaths per 1,000 live births; the national rate for 2000 was 6.9. The percentage of pregnant women receiving first trimester prenatal care is lower in cities (80.1 percent) as compared to 83.4 percent nationwide.

The challenge for health care providers and special initiatives is to eliminate these differences by improving the health status of children in the Nation's cities.

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Birth Weight

Low Birth Weight

Disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight are the second leading cause of neonatal mortality.1 In 2001, 103,091 babies (8.4 percent) born to residents of U.S. cities with populations over 100,000 were of low birth weight (weighing less than 2,500 grams or 5 pounds, 8 ounces). The 2001 percentage of urban infants born at low birth weight was 9 percent higher than the national rate of 7.7 percent.

Percentage of Infants Born at Low Birth Weight in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1989-2001
Source (V.1): National Center for Health Statistics

Percentage of Infants Born at Low Birth Weight in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1989-2001[d]

Very Low Birth Weight

Infants born at very low birth weight (less than 1,500 grams or 3 pounds, 4 ounces) are at highest risk for poor health outcomes. In 2001, 1.6 percent of live births in cities with populations over 100,000 were of very low birth weight. This rate exceeded the national very low birth weight rate by 14 percent.

Percentage of Infants Born at Very Low Birth Weight in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1989-2001
Source (V.1): National Center for Health Statistics

Percentage of Infants Born at Very Low Birth Weight in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1989-2001[d]

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Infant Mortality

In 2000, 9,340 infants born to residents of U.S. cities with populations over 100,000 died in the first year of life. The city infant mortality rate was 7.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, which was higher than the rate of 6.9 for the nation as a whole. Although the infant mortality rate in cities has routinely been higher than the rate nationwide, it has steadily declined over the past decade. Between 1990 and 2000, infant mortality in cities declined by roughly one-third; the decline nationwide in the same period was 25 percent.

Infant Mortality Rates in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1988-2000
Source (V.1): National Center for Health Statistics

Infant Mortality Rates in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1988-2000[d]

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Prenatal Care

Early Prenatal Care

Women living in U.S. cities with a population of over 100,000 are less likely to begin prenatal care in the first three months of pregnancy than women nationwide. The gap in early entry into prenatal care between urban women and the Nation as a whole has narrowed since 1993.

In 2001, 80.1 percent of pregnant women living in U.S. cities began prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy, compared to 83.4 percent nationwide. The percentage of women receiving prenatal care has increased steadily since 1989 at both the city and national levels. The Healthy People 2010 Objective is to have 90 percent of pregnant women begin prenatal care in the first trimester.

Percentage of Pregnant Women Receiving First Trimester Prenatal Care in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1988-2001
Source (V.1): National Center for Health Statistics

Percentage of Pregnant Women Receiving First Trimester Prenatal Care in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1988-2001[d]

Late or No Prenatal Care

In 2001, 4.8 percent of pregnant women living in U.S. cities with a population of over 100,000 began prenatal care in the 3rd trimester or received no prenatal care. The percentage of women receiving late or no prenatal care is 30 percent higher among women living in cities than among the overall U.S. population.

Percentage of Pregnant Women Receiving Late or No Prenatal Care in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1988-2001
Source (V.1): National Center for Health Statistics

Percentage of Pregnant Women Receiving Late or No Prenatal Care in U.S. Cities with Population Over 100,000: 1988-2001[d]

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Footnote

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1 Congenital anomalies are the leading cause of neonatal mortality.

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Home | Table of Contents | Preface | Introduction | Population Characteristics |
Health Status-Infants
| Health Status-Children | Health Status-Adolescents |
Health Services Financing and Utilization
| State Data | City Data | References | Contributors