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Ala. Infant Mortality Rate Reaches Low, Still High

babies.jpg
David Herholz
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Alabama's infant mortality rate has reached an all-time low, but it's still high nationally.

Figures released by the state health agency on Thursday show Alabama's infant death rate was 8.1 infant deaths for every 1,000 births last year.

The figure is a record low, but it's high compared to the most recent national average. The U.S. rate was 6.1 deaths per 1,000 births in 2010, the latest year available.

State Health Officer Don Williamson says possible reasons for the state decline include a drop in teen births and a reduction in the number of women who smoked while pregnant.

Smokers and teen mothers have higher infant mortality. The state's death rate for black infants is more than twice the number for white babies.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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