health

Overall health, well-being of U.S. children is improving, report says

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 30, 2012

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Progress is being made in improving the well-being of children 17 and younger in the United States, including in infant mortality, preterm births and teen pregnancy, said a report issued July 13 by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. The forum is a collection of 22 federal government agencies involved in research and activities related to children and families.

In 2010, 12% of babies were born preterm (delivered at 37 weeks’ gestation), which marks an improvement from 2009, when 12.2% of infants were born preterm, the report said (link).

There were fewer babies born to mothers age 15 to 17 in 2010 (17 births per 1,000 girls) than in 2009 (20 births per 1,000 girls). There also were fewer infants who died before their first birthday in 2010 (6.1 deaths per 1,000 births) compared with 2009 (6.4 infant deaths per 1,000 births).

Despite such progress, the proportion of children living in poverty is on the rise, increasing from 21% in 2009 to 22% in 2010, the report said.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/07/30/hlbf0730.htm.

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