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P1-451 Infant mortality in Switzerland
  1. C Junker,
  2. S Berrut
  1. Federal Statistical Office, Neuchâtel, Switzerland


Infant mortality rates in Switzerland had been among the lowest in Europe. This is not longer the case. Swiss rates are now in the medium range. This paper examines reasons why. Data from 1900 to 2009 is based on the birth database hold at the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO). Variables on weight, length, number of siblings, ages of mother and father are taken into account, as well as causes of death. Gestational age was only recently introduced into the data registration. In 1900 the infant mortality rate in Switzerland was 150 per 1000 life births, in 1990 6.8 and in 2009 4.3 per 1000. In the last 20 years, the infant mortality rate dropped by about a third. A strong decline is primarily observed among children aged 28 days up to 1 year. In children aged 1 to 27 days, the mortality rate has halved over the same period. A growing mortality rate, however, is seen in infants in the first 24 h after birth. Mostly affected are extremely premature births, which are due to their immaturity at high risk. During the same time, numbers of twins, numbers of low birth weight infants and age of mothers had increased considerably. The slowing, if not stagnant decline in infant mortality in Switzerland in recent years is explained by an increase in high risk deliveries. Infants in Switzerland die, if anything, more and more in the first days of life, even in the first hours after birth.

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