Infant death rates rise in South

Remember the old days when people used to say that Katrina had awakened us to race consciousness and particularly the links between race, poverty and vulnerability to natural disaster in the US South. Today the NY Times is reporting that infant death rates, defined as deaths in children in the first year of life, is again on the rise: from 9.7 per one-thousand in 2004 to 11.4 this year. The rates are even more dramatic for the Black population. Not only is the thought of more babies dying intuitively disparaging, but the infant mortality rate is really a bell-weather of the health of the general population.

Obesity and its accompanying health risks are thought to be major factors, and the Times reports that few women seek prenatal care for reasons of both money and motivation.