Health & Medicine

Sacramento County’s infant death rate among highest in California

Infants die at a greater rate in Sacramento County than in most other places in the state, a long-term pattern that largely affects minority families, the latest state data show.

Almost 110 infants, or 5.6 per 1,000 births, died in 2012, according to the California Department of Public Health.

That’s about 25 percent higher than the statewide average of 4.5 infant deaths per 1,000 births.

Sacramento County has the third-highest infant death rate among the state’s 10 largest counties, falling just below San Bernardino and Fresno counties.

Infant deaths in Sacramento County disproportionately affect minority communities. The infant death rate among African Americans in the county was three times higher in 2012 than the rate for whites; the infant death rate among Latinos was almost twice as high as among whites.

Infant death rates in the county fell a decade ago but have held fairly steady since.

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