Objectives. (1) To determine the infant mortality rate (IMR) in American Indians/ Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and Whites between 1995–1999 and 2000–2004. (2) To compare the leading causes of infant mortality in AI/AN and Whites. (3) To examine differences in neonatal vs. postneonatal causes of death in Whites and AI/AN.
Methods. Using the 1995–99 and 2000–04 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics national linked birth/infant death data, we examined neonatal and postneonatal IMR among AI/AN and Whites.
Results. AI/AN experienced significantly greater overall IMR in 1995–1999 and 2000–2004 than Whites. While the reduction in the IMR between these time periods was statistically significant for Whites, the reduction among AI/AN was not. We found that AI/AN had an IMR 1.5 times as high as that of Whites. Conclusions. While the overall IMR has decreased in AI/AN, disparities in postneonatal IMR persist between AI/AN and Whites.