Health Research and Policy

Research in Progress Seminar (RIP)

Date: April 17, 2013
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: CHP/PCOR Conference Room, 117 Encina Commons
Speakers: Paul Wise, MD, MPH
Richard E Behrman Professor in Child Health, Sr Fellow at FSI and Professor, by courtesy, of Health Research and Policy
Title: The Evolution of the Epidemiology and Social Meaning of the US Infant Mortality Rate


Although the infant mortality rate is widely used as a core indicator in both the social and health sciences, few who use it recognize the dramatic changes that have occurred in the infant mortality rate’s determinants and social meaning. This discussion will present new analyses of the US infant mortality rate that underscore its dynamic epidemiology and raise questions about the traditional uses of the infant mortality rate in sociologic, economic, and anthropologic research. Of special concern is the impact technologic innovation on the use of the infant mortality rate as a reflection of social status and societal forces. This discussion will also document the emergence of new challenges to longstanding medical strategies to reducing infant mortality. Together, these observations suggest that the traditional understanding of both the epidemiology and social meaning of the US infant mortality rate deserves critical revision of its use as an indicator in research and the deliberation of public policy.

Please note: All research in progress seminars are off-the-record. Any information about methodology/press release and/or results are embargoed until publication.
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