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U.S. Infant Mortality Rate Nearly Double That of Japan and Sweden

A new report shows the U.S. lags behind 17 peer countries in infant mortality, but it's unclear why.

A new  report from the Institute of Medicine took a long, hard look at the American healthcare system and  found that we lead on healthcare spending but lag on patient outcomes.

But we knew this already. Many  other reports have found the exact same thing.

There is, however, some striking — and troubling — new research in the report: Our infant mortality rate is nearly double the rate in countries like Japan and Sweden.

What’s more troubling is that researchers aren’t sure why, exactly. As the Washington Post reports:

As to what explains the high infant mortality rate, the researchers aren’t quite sure. They say it is not explained by ethnic diversity in the United States. While U.S. minorities do tend to have a higher infant mortality rate, non-Hispanic whites in the United States also have worse outcomes than those in peer nations.



Katie McDonough is an assistant editor for Salon, focusing on lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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