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Health Team

Ohio's infant mortality rate rose slightly in 2016

Posted October 7

— Ohio's Health Department says the number of infant deaths rose slightly in 2016 compared with the previous year.

A report released Friday says 1,024 babies died in Ohio last year before their first birthdays. That's 19 more infant deaths than in 2015. The overall infant mortality rate hasn't changed significantly in the last decade.

The report shows the mortality rate for black babies is nearly three times greater than for white babies.

Last year's increase occurred despite a 22 percent drop in sleep-related deaths. The report says there were 117 such deaths last year compared with 150 in 2015.

Health Department officials say sleep-related deaths are easily preventable. Most suffocation deaths occur when babies sleep on couches, chairs or in beds with another person.

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