Infant mortality in Wis. still higher for blacks - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Infant mortality in Wis. still higher for blacks

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The infant mortality rate in Wisconsin's black communities continues to dwarf the rate for other races.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says nearly 15 of every 1,000 infants born to black women last year died before their first birthday.

That compares to about five deaths per 1,000 white births and about six deaths per 1,000 Hispanic births.

The racial disparity has worsened in recent decades.

In the three-year period from 1990 to 1992, the black infant mortality rate was more than double that for whites. Fifteen years later it was nearly triple.

Lenard Wells is a university administrator active in Milwaukee's black community. He says officials need to address the causes of infant mortality not just count the deaths.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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