Infant mortality on the rise in France

Posted Sep 20, 2022, 7:59 AMUpdated on Sep 20, 2022 at 11:11 am

Public Health France publishes for the first time in a single report a series of indicators to describe the state of health of pregnant women and newborns. Despite a “high and stable” level of care in France, certain data “advocate in favor of strengthening perinatal health”, emphasizes Public Health France.

First source of concern: the deaths of infants less than 27 days after birth are on the rise. A result “which must be the subject of particular attention to reverse the trends in the coming years”, underlines the report. In mainland France, the neonatal mortality rate fell from 1.6 to 2 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2010 and 2019.

Ile de France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Hauts-de-France, Normandy and New Aquitaine are concerned. Above all, the indicator peaked in the overseas departments and regions, where it stood at 4.1 in 2019 (against 3.7 in 2010), twice as much as in mainland France.

Public health priority

The report indeed puts a spotlight on the “great territorial inequalities” in terms of perinatal health and underlines that their reduction “must be a public health priority”. The overseas departments and regions show indicators that are “generally more unfavorable than the whole of mainland France”: the maternal mortality rate over the period is multiplied by 4, and the rate of stillbirths by 1, 5.

Mayotte and French Guiana are the most concerned: there are the highest prevalences of premature births and stillbirths in France. The situation of mothers who give birth in Guyana is also more precarious: in 2019, 27.7% of them benefited from billing to State Medical Aid, 2% in mainland France.

When we look at the health of mothers, we also realize that certain pathologies are on the increase, during or after their pregnancies. At the national level, this is for example the case for hypertension (5% in 2019 against 4.5% in 2010) and gestational diabetes (13.6% in 2019 against 6.7% in 2010). The birth rate has also continued to fall, in all regions of France: 734,000 births were recorded in 2019, compared to 841,000 in 2010. This trend is partly explained by the decrease in fertility among poor women. younger. The average age at childbirth continues to increase, reaching 30.1 years between 2016 and 2019.

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