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Report: Infant deaths in Hamilton County decreased in 2014

Cradle Cincinnati

Cradle Cincinnati says 96 babies born in Hamilton County in 2014 died before their first birthdays. 

While that's still above the national average, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune says there is a positive note.

"While 96 deaths is too many," says Portune, "this is an improvement and a lower rate than our rate for 2013. And that rate of deaths per 1,000 live births is an all-time low for Hamilton County."

The 2014 rate was 8.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. The 2013 rate was 8.84.

Cincinnati council member Wendell Young says he's encouraged by the improvements in maternal smoking and spacing rates as well.

"In 2014, maternal smoking during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy fell by 12 percent," says Young. Fewer moms smoking has led to a decrease in pre-term births."

Young adds, "In 2014, pregnancy spacing of less than 12 months fell by 10 percent. When mom has at least 12 months in between her pregnancies, her body has time to heal and her risk of pre-term birth really drops."

Thursday's report also suggests the number of deaths in the northern and western parts of the county are increasing. The agency says that follows the increase of poverty in those regions. Cradle Cincinnati was formed with a goal of reducing the county's infant mortality rate.