Agency: Kansas infant mortality rate up slightly

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas health officials say the state’s infant mortality rate has edged higher.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Thursday the number of infant deaths rose from 247 in 2011 to 254 in 2012.

That works out to an infant mortality rate of 6.3 deaths per 1,000 live births last year, up from 6.2 in 2011. But KDHE also notes that the 2011 rate was the lowest in Kansas since the state began keeping records in 1912.

Leading causes of infant deaths in Kansas are prematurity, low birth weight, birth defects, sudden infant death syndrome, suffocation in bed and pregnancy complications in the mother.

The agency cited a research brief published by its Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics.

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