Why This Matters
  • In Detroit, 50% of infant mortality can be attributed to low birth weight.
  • 70% of extremely preterm (before 28 weeks) and low birthweight children (<1000g) experience cognitive, educational or behavioral impairment at 8 years of age. 50% exhibit multiple areas of concern.
  • The City of Detroit has an infant mortality rate of 14 deaths per 1,000 – double the rate in the State of Michigan.1
  • Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant mortality worldwide.2
  • The rate of preterm birth in the US is 11.5%3; in Michigan this rate is higher at 11.8%4 and in Detroit 18% of babies are born premature.5
  • The ethnic disparity in the rate of preterm birth is partially attributed to the significant racial/ethnic disparity that exists between African-Americans and other groups.
  • The infant mortality rate in African Americans in Michigan is almost 3X that of Caucasians (15.4 vs. 5.5). Preterm birth results in neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, bowel abnormalities, infection, sepsis, mental disabilities, cerebral palsy and neonatal death.
  • In 2005, it was estimated that more than $26 billion is spent annually in the US to treat these preterm infants.2