SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The infant mortality rate for blacks in San Diego County was its lowest ever recorded in 2010, while the mortality rate across all ethnicities was near its lowest, a county spokesman said Wednesday.
The countywide infant mortality rate was 4.5 per every 1,000 births regardless of ethnicity, and 7.7 per 1,000 for blacks.
People of Asian descent had an infant mortality rate of 2.5 per 1,000, and whites and Hispanics had a rate 4.6 per 1,000, according to the county. The most recent year for which figures are available is 2010. Infant mortality means death within the first year of life.
San Diego County's overall infant mortality rate is close to recent lows seen in 2002 and 2003. Infants deaths rose to 5.2 per 1,000 in 2007, then started back down, according to county government figures.
Infant mortality rates for blacks have been as high as 12.4 per 1,000 as recent as 2006.
County health officials credited the downward trend for blacks in part to a county program for black women who are pregnant or have babies up to 3 months old.
"We'll continue to monitor closely to determine if this trend holds, however, these data are a promising indication that this health disparity among different groups is narrowing in the county," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's Public Health Officer. "Our goal is to eliminate this disparity for infant mortality, which is noted as a `winnable public health battle' by the (Centers for Disease Control)."
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