Kansas' Hispanic infant mortality increases, others decline

Sleeping baby, Photo Date: July 25, 2008 / Cropped Photo: Seth Baur / CC BY 2.0
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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Some researchers worry about the increasing Hispanic infant mortality rate in Kansas as the trend moves in the opposite direction for babies overall in the state.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the Hispanic community has historically had low infant mortality rates despite lack of access to prenatal care. But the director of the Center for Research for Infant Birth and Survival, Cari Schmidt, says she fears that Hispanic babies are becoming more likely to die in their first year.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment documented five-year averages for infant mortality rates for 1997-2016. The department says infant mortality rates have declined for babies born to white or black mothers during that time, but increased for babies born to Hispanic mothers.