Skip to comments.US and Canadian Infant Mortality Rankings Misleading - Study
Posted on 02/26/2012 1:22:24 PM PST by tellw
Canadas poor infant mortality ranking misleading: study
on February 22, 2012 for CanadianHealthcareNetwork.ca
Canada would rank higher in international child health indices if measurements were standardized, according to a study by researchers from the University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University, McGill University, the University of Calgary, and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and through PHACs Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, shows the surveys on perinatal, infant and child mortality rates conducted by the United Nations Childrens Fund and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are biased because many countries fail to register all babies, especially those born very small or too early. The contemporary rankings of industrialized countries by infant mortality and related indices are extremely misleading, says lead author Dr. K.S. Joseph, a professor in UBCs Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the School of Population and Public Health, and a scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute. Appropriate steps should be taken to standardize birth registration and related data quality issues if we are to fully understand infant health status in industrialized countries, Dr. Joseph adds. Using 2004 data from Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States, the researchers compared fetal, neonatal and infant mortality rates. Comparisons were also made using data for 2007 from Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The researchers analysis revealed wide variations in birth registration procedures, even in industrialized countries. This resulted in comparisons rewarding countries that only register infants who survived, or who had a reasonable chance of survival. The highly publicized, poor OECD rankings of Canada and the U.S. are almost entirely attributable to the selective registration in other countries of extremely preterm infants who survive, and the systematic under-registration of those who dont, says Michael Kramer, one of the studys authors and until recently the scientific director of CIHRs Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. It is also important to note that the poor international rankings do not reflect inferior quality of, or access to, healthcare for pregnant women or newborn infants in Canada and the United States, notes Kramer. Correcting for this problem, as is recommended by the World Health Organization, will show that our countries perform extremely well. Canada currently ranks 18th among OECD nations, with the United States placing 22nd. If corrected neonatal mortality rates calculations are applied, however, Canada and the U.S. would rank 12th and 11th, respectively. Only 1 of 11 countries that ranked ahead of Canada and only 2 of the 10 countries that ranked ahead of the U.S. had mortality rates that were significantly lower. Similar findings were obtained in rankings based on fetal and infant death rates.
The fallacy of how infant mortality rates are reported, and the variation from country to country has long been known.
Detractors of the United States routinely use slanted figures to make their leftist points, including many in our own government.
“If corrected neonatal mortality rates calculations are applied, however, Canada and the U.S. would rank 12th and 11th...”
That is so much better.
A similar problem exists with reporting crime rates. Some countries report based on arrests while others report based on convictions; very different statistics.