Fertility, Morbidity, and Mortality

Today, neonatal and post-neonatal mortality rates are examined separately because most deaths during the neonatal period are associated with events surrounding the prenatal period and delivery.   Post-neonatal mortality deaths are more likely to be associated with conditions or events that arise after the delivery.   Deaths from birth defects can occur in both neonatal and post-neonatal stages.  
For the past several decades, neonatal mortality in the United States has been declining at a faster rate that post-neonatal.   Neonatal deaths accounts for the majority of infant deaths.   The decline in neonatal deaths has mainly been due to the improvements of hospital settings, advances in medical techniques and equipment.   These improvements in the neonatal stages have also attributed to prevention of deaths in post-neonatal stages.  
There are longstanding disparities in birth outcomes between whites, Hispanics, and African Americans in the United States. For infant mortality, African Americans and Hispanics have rates at least two times higher than those for whites, and the gap has been increasing over time.   This paper will discuss the different factors that cause the disparities and how they compare in regards to the risk associated with neonatal mortality.
Statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, and the National Vital Statistics System (2006) have estimated neonatal mortality rates for Caucasians at 3.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2006.   For the same time period, post-neonatal mortality rates were estimated at 1.9 deaths per 1,000 live births.   These deaths were association to low birth weight, congenital malformations, infection, and birth trauma.
The Centers of Disease Control (2006) have estimated that neonatal mortality rates for African Americans were 9.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.   In 2006 the post-neonatal mortality rates were 4.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.   The higher level of...