02 July 2007
Annual statistical publication that collates and analyses information on the causes of fetal and infant deaths registered in New Zealand.
Key facts from the publication:
- The total number of infant deaths registered in 2003 was 304 and in 2004 was 347.
- Māori infant deaths (118 deaths) accounted for 38.8 percent of all infant deaths in 2003, in 2004, they accounted for 35.4 percent (123 deaths).
- Overall, the Māori infant death rate has been decreasing since 1996; the most significant decrease has been for the Māori post-neonatal death rate.
- Compared with the 'Other' (non-Māori, non- Pacific peoples) ethnic group, the Māori post-neonatal death rate was 3.1 times higher in 2003 and 3.5 times higher in 2004
- Compared with the 'Other' ethnic group, the Pacific peoples post-neonatal death rate was 1.4 times higher in 2003 and 2.9 times higher in 2004.
- Post-neonatal death rates have decreased slightly over the past decade, while neonatal death rates have remained steady.
- In 2003, 32 percent of early neonatal deaths were where the baby died within 24 hours of life. In 2004, these accounted for 33 percent of early neonatal deaths.
- Babies born in multiple births accounted for 14.9 percent of early neonatal deaths in 2003 and 15.5 percent in 2004.
- The most deprived areas in New Zealand (NZDep2001 Quintile 5) have increasing rates of fetal deaths compared with other quintiles.
- The most deprived areas in New Zealand (NZDep2001 Quintile 5) have rates of infant deaths almost two-and-a-half times the least deprived areas (NZDep2001 Quintile 1).
- Babies with a birthweight of less than 1000g and a gestation of less than 32 completed weeks made up 50.0 percent of all neonatal deaths and 5.0 percent of post-neonatal deaths in 2003. In 2004, these babies made up 53.0 percent of neonatal deaths and 6.7 percent of post-neonatal deaths.
- 51 infant deaths were attributed to SIDS in 2003. In 2004, there were 45 infant deaths attributed to SIDS.
- The SIDS death rate of 0.8 per 1000 live births in 2004 was 61.9 percent lower than in 1994. This rate is the lowest recorded since SIDS became a separate category in the International Classification of Diseases in 1979 (this rate – 0.8 per 1000 live births – was also recorded in 2002).
- In 2003, SIDS was the underlying cause of death for 42.5 percent of post-neonatal deaths and 16.8 percent of all infant deaths.
- In 2004, SIDS was the underlying cause of death for 30.2 percent of post-neonatal deaths and 13.0 percent of all infant deaths.