A comparison of Native American infant mortality rates by definition of race
Vital event statistics such as infant births and infant mortality rates are used by health professionals for a wide variety of purposes. Infant births and mortality rates are used for program planning and evaluation at the local, state, and federal levels. For example, the infant mortality rate is regarded as a summary measure of infant health, and in its broadest use, a measure of the quality of Jtfe in a society. Comparing infant mortality rates between groups can help describe how factors present before, during, and after pregnancy affect the developing fetus and newborn. Studying trends through time allows further advancement in knowledge about how best to prevent morbidity and mortality, and how to promote a healthy society. Implicit in the use of vital event statistics is the assumption that the information is collected and analyzed correctly. Without accurate data, credible conclusions are not possible. Information on births is subject to limitations, but to a lesser extent than mortality information, since birth records include information on not only the child, but also the mother and father. Infant death records provide information only on the infant. An important problem in interpreting vital event information results from the apparent lack of information put into the records to verify characteristics such as race.
- Health services