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NJDOH 7 Major Causes of Infant Death

In order to provide a consistent grouping and ranking standard, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) prepared a List of 130 Selected Causes of Infant Death. Seventy-one causes on that list were designated as eligible to be ranked as leading causes of infant death (List of 71 Rankable Causes of Death). NJDOH's Center for Health Statistics derived the List of 7 Major Causes of Infant Death from the list of 71 causes by grouping rare but rankable causes as well as unrankable causes into a residual group for ease of use and tabulation (#8 in the table below). For more information about the NCHS rankings see Cause of Death Ranking on the NCHS website.

ICD-9 was used to code death causes from 1979 through 1998. ICD-9 codes and comparability ratios are included below for comparison to pre-1999 mortality data.

A full list of ICD codes is available at

Cause of Death

ICD-9 Codes

ICD-10 Codes

Comparability Ratio

Standard Error


1 Newborn affected by maternal complications of pregnancy 761 P01 1.0295 0.0138
2 Newborn affected by complications of placenta, cord and membranes 762 P02 1.0470 0.0128
3 Disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, not elsewhere classified 765 P07 1.1060 0.0064
4 Respiratory distress of newborn 769 P22 1.0257 0.0131
5 Bacterial sepsis of newborn 771.8 P36 0.9144 0.0272
6 Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities 740-759 Q00-Q99 0.9064 0.0057 Birth defects/ Congenital anomalies
7 Sudden infant death syndrome 798.0 R95 1.0362 0.0040 SIDS
8 All other diseases and external causes -- Residual -- --

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The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 02 October 2023 21:49:58 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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