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Trust for America's Health Releases Report on Connection between Women's Health and Stalled Infant Mortality Rates
Date:6/12/2008

Deteriorating Health among Women is Leading Factor, Low-Income and Minority Babies Most At-Risk

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) released a report today, Healthy Women, Healthy Babies, in conjunction with the release of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT DATABOOK 2008. The report explains why after 40 years of progress, infant mortality rates in the U.S. have stalled since 2000. TFAH finds that the deteriorating health of American women, due in part to wide-spread chronic disease epidemics like obesity and diabetes, is taking a toll on American infants, resulting in stagnated improvement when it comes to infant health. TFAH's report offers recommendations for Congress and the American health system to aggressively improve the health of new-born infants.

"In the wake of all the great medical breakthroughs over the last 40 years, one would assume that infant mortality rates would plummet. Instead, medical progress has been cancelled out in the delivery room by the deteriorating health of childbearing-aged women and their lack of health care access; and infant mortality rates have stalled as a result," said Jeff Levi, Executive Director of Trust for America's Health. "American women, children and families simply deserve better."

Levi added, "We know now that an infant's chances of sickness, disability and survival often hinge on the health of the mother, before she even becomes pregnant. Therefore, the way to reduce risks to newborn babies is to invest in a woman's health throughout her childbearing years. If we concentrate our efforts most on those hit hardest by the biggest health problems -- low-income and minority women -- we will once again see healthier babies and dropping infant mortality rates."

"Two of the most disturbing trends in our 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book that we are releasing today are the increase in the rate of low birth weight babies and the lack of progress in
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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