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Infant and Fetal Death Rates by Year, New Jersey, 1990 to 2021

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Why Is This Important?

Fetal mortality - the intrauterine death of a fetus at any gestational age - is a major but often overlooked public health issue. Much of the public concern surrounding reproductive loss has focused on infant mortality, due in part to a lesser knowledge of the incidence, etiology, and prevention strategies for fetal mortality.^[https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr71/nvsr71-04.pdf 1]^

Definition

An '''infant death''' is the death of a live-born infant within the first year of life. The infant death rate is the number of deaths of live-born infants under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births. A '''fetal death''' is what is commonly called a stillbirth. The technical definition is "a death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception; the fetus shows no signs of life such as breathing or beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles." The fetal death rate is the number of fetal deaths of 20 or more weeks gestation per 1,000 live births plus fetal deaths of 20 or more weeks gestation.

Data Notes

Confidence intervals are not available for the pre-2000 rates or the 2016-2017 fetal death rates derived from CDC WONDER.

Data Sources

How the Measure is Calculated

  • Numerator:

    '''Infant Death''': Number of infant deaths (death < 1 year of age) '''Fetal Death''': Number of fetal deaths of 20 or more weeks gestation
  • Denominator:

    '''Infant Death''': Number of live births '''Fetal Death''': Number of live births plus fetal deaths of 20 or more weeks gestation

Data Issues

Only fetal deaths from the latter half of pregnancy (20 or more weeks gestation) are required to be reported to the NJDOH. Fetal deaths early in pregnancy can occur before a mother even knows she's pregnant, therefore a full count is impossible and each states' reporting requirements are based on a minimum gestational age and/or minimum weight.^[https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr72/nvsr72-08.pdf 1]^

Related Health Status Outcomes Indicators:

Health Topic Pages Related to: Infant and Fetal Death Comparison

Indicator Data Last Updated On 11/16/2023, Published on 06/12/2024
Center for Health Statistics, New Jersey Department of Health, PO Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360, e-mail: chs@doh.nj.gov (https://www.nj.gov/health/chs)