Thursday, July 31, 2008

Infant Mortality & Cuba

I have a friend that loves to tell me that Cuba has no infant mortality. Now we all know there is no such thing as zero infant mortality but what are the reported numbers for Cuba? Is the US health care system really worse than Cuba's? Here are the numbers as :

Cuba - 16 6.0 per 1,000
USA - 7.2 per 1,000

[note: This needs a citation.]

As you can see Cuba is doing better. Or are they? As per usual the devil is in the details. Have a look.

Overpopulation.Com » Blog Archive » Cuba vs. the United States on Infant Mortality
Recently released statistics on the infant mortality rate in the Western hemisphere yielded an odd conclusions — Cuba’s infant mortality rate, 16 6.0 per 1,000, is now lower than the U.S. infant mortality rate, at 7.2 per 1,000. Given Cuba’s poverty level, its 6.0 rate is very impressive, but is it accurate to say that Cuba now has an infant mortality rate lower than the United States? No.


Why? Because the United States also easily has the most intensive system of

emergency intervention to keep low birth weight and premature infants alive

in the world. The United States is, for example, one of only a handful
countries that keeps detailed statistics on early fetal mortality — the
survival rate of infants who are born as early as the 20th week of

How does this skew the statistics? Because in the United States if an
infant is born weighing only 400 grams and not breathing, a doctor will
likely spend lot of time and money trying to revive that infant. If the
infant does not survive — and the mortality rate for such infants is in
excess of 50 percent — that sequence of events will be recorded as a
live birth and then a death

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