Changes in the neonatal and infant mortality rate and the causes of death in Korea

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Neonatal mortality rate (NMR) or infant mortality rate (IMR) are the rate of deaths per 1,000 live births at which babies of either less than four weeks or of one year of age die, respectively. The NMR and IMR are commonly accepted as a measure of the general health and wellbeing of a population. Korea's NMR and IMR fell significantly between 1993 and 2009 from 6.6 and 9.9 to 1.7 and 3.2, respectively. Common causes of infantile death in 2008 had decreased compared with those in 1996 such as other disorders originating in the perinatal period, congenital malformation of the heart, bacterial sepsis of newborns, disorders related to length of gestation and fetal growth, intra-uterine hypoxia, birth asphyxia. However, some other causes are on the increase, such as respiratory distress of newborn, other respiratory conditions originating in the perinatal period, other congenital malformation, diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism. In this study, we provide basic data about changes of NMR and IMR and the causes of neonatal and infantile death from 1983 to 2009 in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-455
Number of pages13
JournalKorean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Causes of death
  • Epidemiology
  • Infant mortality
  • Korea
  • Neonatal mortality
  • Vital statistics


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