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The nation's infant mortality rate rose slightly in 2007, to 6.77 infant deaths per 1,000 births, but the rise was not statistically significant. It has been at about the same level for several years.
That's not a shock, some experts said. Medical care improvements can improve infant survival, but they also mean that some troubled pregnancies now make it to infancy before death, said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Atlanta's Emory University.
Another recent CDC report containing early data for 2008 counted 2.45 million deaths last year. That's an increase of more than 29,000 deaths from the 2.42 million deaths in 2007.
CDC data sometimes changes as more records come in and researchers eliminate duplicate reports. But it's likely an increase will hold up because of the growing number of elderly, experts said.
On the Net:
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/NCHS/
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