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Infant mortality at record low

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Infant mortality fell to 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009 thanks to advances in technology and medical care, figures have shown.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that infant mortality has declined steadily in the last thirty years, although the death rate remains higher among babies born to teenage mothers, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Neonatal mortality rates have fallen by 60% since 1980, while postneonatal deaths have fallen by 68%, the ONS revealed.

There were a record low 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009, with 3,191 babies dying before their first birthday.

This represents a fall of 60% compared with the figure of 7,899 recorded in 1980 - equivalent to 12 deaths per 1,000 births.

Detailed analysis of the figures by the ONS indicated that babies born to young mothers remain at greater risk.

The ONS said: “Infant mortality rates were lowest among babies of mothers aged 30-34 years (3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births) and highest among mothers aged under 20 years (5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births).”

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