Current Affairs

Unexplained deaths in infancy continue to fall

There were 191 unexplained infant deaths in England and Wales in 2015, with a rate of 0.27 deaths per 1,000 live births, reports the Office for National Statistics. This follows the decreasing trend that has generally been seen over the last decade.

Vasita Patel, Vital Statistics Output Branch, said: “Unexplained infant deaths in 2015 were the lowest on record, driven by a further decrease in sudden infant deaths from 2014.

“This could be due to a greater awareness of safe sleeping practices and a reduction in the number of mothers smoking during pregnancy.”

Unexplained infant deaths accounted for 7.4 percent of all infant deaths occurring in 2015.

Around six in every ten unexplained deaths were recorded as sudden infant deaths with the remaining recorded as unascertained.

Just under two-thirds of all unexplained infant deaths were boys in 2015 (127 deaths).

In 2015, the rate of unexplained infant deaths remained the highest in Yorkshire and The Humber, at 0.42 deaths per 1,000 live births, a decrease from 0.48 in 2014.

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