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Infant mortality is associated with poverty. Countries with higher per capita income have lower infant mortality rates.1 The most obvious reason for this is the burden of infant deaths attributable to potentially avoidable diseases, such as infectious diseases for which vaccines and drugs are available, but are not affordable for all. In rich countries, besides gross national product per head, income inequality is an important determinant of infant mortality rates.2 Countries with less income inequality have a lower infant mortality. This suggests that poverty remains an important determinant of infant mortality, even in relatively rich countries.
In Western countries infant mortality and morbidity are no longer dominated by infectious diseases and …