The Spectacle Blog

Re: Health Care Stats

By on 9.22.06 | 3:08PM

Lawrence: That wouldn't surprise me, and if you can find the source of that, please send it to me.

Here's a quick run-down on why infant mortality stats are unreliable.

First, some nations use different definitions. For example, Switzerland does not count any baby born that is under 30 centimeters, regardless whether the baby showed signs of life. That excludes a lot of at-risk infants from the statistics.

Under-registration is another problem. That is, a lot of babies that dies shortly after birth are simply not registered. This removes them from the statistics, obviously. This can be seen by comparing the proportion of infant deaths that occur within the first 24 hours after birth. Here is a partial table (for a full table, go here and scroll down to Table 3).

Ratio of Infant Deaths In First Day

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