A new report finds that children in poor households are more likely to be in poor health and that the disparity varies widely among states. The report, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Commission to Build a Healthier America, also documents that the infant mortality rate is higher among less-educated mothers, likewise by varying degrees from state to state.
The widest gap in health status among income groups was found in Texas, where 44.1% of poor children are in less than optimal health, compared with 6.7% of children in higher income families. Those figures are 13.3% and 6.4% in New Hampshire, where the gap was the smallest, and 33.3% and 7.1% nationally. Washington, D.C., ranked lowest in the reports analysis of the correlation between infant mortality and mothers education: The rate was 14.3 deaths out of every 1,000 live births to women who didnt graduate from high school compared with 3.7 infant deaths among mothers who had at least four years of college.
The commission examined childrens health status that parents reported in the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions National Survey of Childrens Health, vital statistics collected by the CDC and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Childrens families were considered to be poor if the household income was less than the 2006 federal poverty level ($20,600 for a family of four) and higher income if the income was at least four times the federal poverty level. -- by Gregg Blesch
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