Infant mortality and poor health among high school grades offset low uninsured rate
A report from the United Health Foundation shows Delaware still struggling with one of the nation’s highest infant mortality rates and poor health among those with lower education levels.
The findings came in the America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report,the longest-running annual assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis.
Delaware’s overall ranking was 30th among the 50 states, up one place from its 31st ranking in 2016. High rankings in two areas kept the state from a position near the bottom.
Findings from the report included:
- Low rate of uninsured: Approximately six percentof Delawareans are uninsured. In this category, Delaware came in at No. 11.
- High HPV immunization coverage in female teens: Nearly 70 percent of females aged 13-17 years are up to date on all recommended doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. In this category, Delaware came in second when compared to other states. Completing the HPV vaccine series before becoming sexually active can prevent HPV infections that cause cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women, penile cancer in men, and anal cancer, throat cancer and genital warts in both men and women.
- High infant mortality rate: Delaware rankedthird to last in the number of infant deaths (before age 1 year) withnearly 8per 1,000 live births. Disparities persist in infant mortality, predominantly regarding race, with babies born to women of color having the highest rate of infant mortality at 11 deaths per 1,000 births, more than two times higher than the rate for babies born to white women.
- Large disparity in health status by education. Delaware ranked second to last with nearly 35 percent difference between the percentage of adults with a high school education compared with those without who reported their health is very good or excellent.
Delaware has made some headway in reducing the infant mortality rate, although the latest findings show the rate remains among the worst in the nation. The ranking is made worse by the fact that the U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates among first world nations.