Title of Abstract

Infant Mortality in South Carolina: How Underlying Factors Play a Significant Role

Submitting Student(s)

Shea Linton

Session Title

Vulnerable Populations 2

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

LaShardai Brown, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Abstract

Infant mortality rates vary widely across different populations in the United States. Often, race, ethnicity and poverty levels correlate with trends of infant mortality in different areas. Although infant mortality rates in South Carolina (SC) have dropped in recent years, South Carolina continues to have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation. Currently, there is a lack of county-specific analysis of infant mortality rates. Our study examines the correlation between infant mortality and various socioeconomic factors including race, income level, education level, and access to maternity wards, in several counties across the state. We hypothesize that SC counties with the highest infant mortalities are also characterized with low median incomes, rural characteristics, and high non-white populations. Using publicly available data sources, including the United States Census Bureau and SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, we identified the counties with the highest (n=8) and lowest rates (n=9) of infant mortality in the state and investigated whether these counties also had significant differences in socioeconomic and geographic representations. We have identified a trend that suggests that infant mortality is highest in SC counties with large non-white populations, with low median income levels and low education levels. We also found that these counties have the lowest numbers of maternity wards/hospitals, suggesting that these counties also have little to no access to health care. Collectively, our findings should be considered when developing state-wide strategies to alleviate infant mortality across South Carolina.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Infant Mortality in South Carolina: How Underlying Factors Play a Significant Role

Infant mortality rates vary widely across different populations in the United States. Often, race, ethnicity and poverty levels correlate with trends of infant mortality in different areas. Although infant mortality rates in South Carolina (SC) have dropped in recent years, South Carolina continues to have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation. Currently, there is a lack of county-specific analysis of infant mortality rates. Our study examines the correlation between infant mortality and various socioeconomic factors including race, income level, education level, and access to maternity wards, in several counties across the state. We hypothesize that SC counties with the highest infant mortalities are also characterized with low median incomes, rural characteristics, and high non-white populations. Using publicly available data sources, including the United States Census Bureau and SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, we identified the counties with the highest (n=8) and lowest rates (n=9) of infant mortality in the state and investigated whether these counties also had significant differences in socioeconomic and geographic representations. We have identified a trend that suggests that infant mortality is highest in SC counties with large non-white populations, with low median income levels and low education levels. We also found that these counties have the lowest numbers of maternity wards/hospitals, suggesting that these counties also have little to no access to health care. Collectively, our findings should be considered when developing state-wide strategies to alleviate infant mortality across South Carolina.