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MDCH Releases Health Equity Report Focused on Infant Mortality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2013

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has released the first Michigan Health Equity Status Report, a collaborative report which focuses on improving health equity in maternal and child health throughout Michigan. The report aligns closely with Governor Rick Snyder’s focus on improving infant mortality rates in order to improve the health status of Michigan as a whole.

“Keeping Michigan’s infants alive and healthy is one of our state’s top priorities,” said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. “This status report will aid regional and local entities working to improve infant health outcomes for all Michiganders, and will serve as a resource in our ongoing assessment of maternal and infant health equity improvement.”

The report utilizes data from 2010, which is the most recent year data is available for and provides a baseline for Michigan to use moving forward in the effort to reduce infant mortality. The Michigan Health Equity Status Report is the first report of its kind that represents a joint effort between the Practices to Reduce Infant Mortality through Equity Project (PRIME), and the MDCH Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section. The report provides a collaborative overview of the non-biological factors that contribute to Michigan’s inequities in maternal and child health.

The report indicates that in 2010, Michigan’s non-white population represented 21 percent of the total population, but 43 percent of the infant deaths. In that same year, an African American infant born in Michigan was 2.6 times more likely to die before its first birthday than a white infant. Additionally, women reported a number of life stressors the year before giving birth. However, African American mothers were more likely to report six or more life stressors than were white mothers (8.4 percent compared to 4.1 percent, respectively). The most commonly identified stressors included moving to a new address, arguing with partners more than usual, loss of a loved one, and difficulty paying bills.

Within MDCH, the Bureau of Family Maternal and Child Health, and the Lifecourse Epidemiology and Genomics Division, worked together to collect data about indicators related to the social context in which women and children live. In total, the report presents data for the following 14 indicators: racism, intimate partner violence, stress, female-headed households, education, unemployment, poverty, social economic determinants and race, transportation, housing, neighborhood safety, infant sleep environment, healthcare coverage for pregnancy and delivery, and barriers to access prenatal care.

To view the full report, visit the PRIME website at This publication was supported through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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