Horowitz: Why did Scotland experience a spike in infant deaths?

- THE BLAZE - DANIEL HOROWITZ - JAN 11, 2022 -

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One of the most durable public health trajectories over the past 50 years has been the consistent decline in infant mortality in countries with first-world health care. Yet in September, Scotland experienced such a spike at least in neonatal deaths that it rivaled levels not seen since the 1980s. What on earth would cause such a sudden bizarre spike? Nobody seems to have the answer — nor do they want to study all of the potential culprits.


In September, Public Health Scotland announced that 21 newborns had died that month, triggering an investigation because the numbers rose above an upper control limit for the first time in four years. According to the Herald Scotland, “the figure for September - at 4.9 per 1000 live births - is on a par with levels that were last typically seen in the late 1980s.”


As you can see from the Public Health Scotland (PHS) data, the upper control limit was breached in September, which PHS believes "indicates there is a higher likelihood that there are factors beyond random variation that may have contributed to the number of deaths that occurred." After all, the five-year average appears to be about 2.2 per 1,000 live births, so September’s numbers are more than double the average.


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