The Sensible Knave

"I do not see that we are further along today than where Hume left us. The Humean predicament is the human predicament." - W.V.O. Quine

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

U.N. Repudiates Multilateralism...

...urges U.S. to act unilaterally.

What's next? Hot rain falls up?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


A year and a day ago, I tried to put some health care comparisons in perspective. I suspected that America's relatively high infant mortality rate had something to do with a higher premature birth rate.

Now comes a report validating much of what I said.

A reclassification of infant deaths by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that 34 percent of infant deaths in America in 2002 should be blamed on premature births...

A report released in July by the Institute of Medicine said premature births, which accounted for one-in-eight U.S. births last year and have increased 30 percent since 1981, cost society at least $26 billion a year.

Assisted fertility methods are used more often and there are a larger number of older mothers, both of which tend to produce multiple births and such babies are more likely to be born early.

The U.S. infant mortality rate declined sharply throughout most of the 20th century but has been relatively stable in recent years -- coincident with the rise in preterm births.

The earliest preterm births -- newborns weighing less than 750 grams (about 1.6 pounds) with a gestational age of less than 28 weeks, who face particular health risks -- contributed to a rise in the 2002 U.S. infant mortality rate, the CDC study said.

Of course, it bears repeating that many other nations have lower premature birth rates, and most other nations have higher late-term fetal death rates.