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Reproductive and Birth Outcomes

Reproductive and birth outcomes track mother and infant health. This includes measures such as sex ratio; infertility; premature births; low birth weight; and fetal, infant, and maternal mortality.
Reproductive and birth outcomes are important because they directly affect the mother and child's health. In 2016, 1 in 10 babies was born prematurely in the United States. In 2015, preterm births and low birth weight accounted for 17% of all infant deaths. Despite the United States' medical technology and level of development, it ranked among the top ten countries with the highest number of preterm births alongside Bangladesh and Indonesia. Adverse reproductive health outcomes can greatly impact a child's survival and health throughout the rest of his or her life. Because the fetus is vulnerable during pregnancy, environmental toxins and exposures can affect the fetus before birth. However, environmental exposures may not always be the direct cause of poor reproductive and birth outcomes; many other factors, like access to healthcare, can play a role as well.
Infant mortality refers to all infant death before one year of age.

Postneonatal mortality refers to infant death between the ages of 28 days and 1 year.

Neonatal mortality refers to death before 28 days of life.

Perinatal mortality refers to infant death under age seven days and fetal deaths at 24 weeks of pregnancy or more.

Fetal deaths are those at, at least 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Outdoor air pollution (particulate matter that is 10 micrometers long [PM10]) has been associated with a higher risk of infant death, specifically from respiratory causes and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Maternal mortality refers to the death of a woman while she is pregnant or within 42 hours of giving birth and where the cause of death is related to the pregnancy itself.

Preterm birth is the leading cause of death of newborn babies. A baby is considered preterm if he or she is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Preterm birth increases the risk of many health problems such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, breathing problems, vision and hearing loss, and feeding and digestive problems. Many of these problems can be a lifelong issue for the child. It is important to remember that every birth is different and many preterm babies do not have any serious health complications.

Low birth weight refers to newborn babies that weigh less than 5.5 pounds (2500 grams) at birth. Low-birth weight can make it easier for the baby to get sick or infected and can delay motor skills, social development, and learning ability.

Infertility refers to the inability to have children and it can affect both men and women. Risk factors for infertility include certain medical conditions and waiting to have children until later in life. However, a growing body of literature suggests that environmental contaminants such as phthalates, PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins, and pesticides can lead to infertility too.

Sex ratio is the numbers of male babies to the number of female babies; the expected sex birth ratio is 105 males to 100 females. Because population growth is in part related to the number of males, it is important to track sex ratio and understand trends.
Factors such as parents' age, genetics, medical health, socioeconomic status, behavior, diet, access to health care, and environmental exposures can all play a role in reproductive and birth outcomes. The following factors increase a woman's risk of poor reproductive and birth outcomes:
  • Environmental exposures such as secondhand smoke, air pollution, biocides (i.e., a chemical that destroys life by poisoning, especially a pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide), mercury and lead
  • Behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illicit drugs
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clotting disorders, and cervical or uterine problems
  • Social and economic factors like domestic violence, stress, lack of social support, and marital status
Women can reduce their risk of negative reproductive and birth outcomes by getting prenatal care before becoming pregnant and avoiding the following:
  • Tobacco smoke
  • High concentrations of particulate matter in the air
  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs
  • Biocides (pesticide, rodentcide, fungicide, herbicide, etc.)
  • Lead
  • Mercury

Total Fertility Rate per 1,000 Women of Reproductive Age, by Year

General Fertility Rates

Low Birth Weight: less than 2,500 grams at birth (approximately 5 lbs. 8 ozs.)
Very Low Birth Weight: less than 1,500 grams at birth (approximately 3 lbs. 4 ozs.)

Low Birth Weight

Very Low Birth Weight

Fetal Mortality

Infant Mortality

Neonatal and Post-Neonatal Mortality

Preterm Birth (Less Than 37 Weeks Gestation)

  • Percent of Preterm Births, by Year: Statewide and by County
  • Percentage of Live Births that are Preterm:

Very Preterm Birth (Less than 32 Weeks Gestation)

Male to Female Sex Ratio at Birth, by Year

The Utah EPHT Network receives reproductive and birth outcome data from the Office of Vital Records and Statistics in the Utah Department of Health.

View complete metadata.
The links listed below redirect you to health assessments that have been conducted in Utah that are relevant to reproductive and birth outcomes. The Utah APPLETREE program at the Utah Department of Health is responsible for evaluating and responding to environmental public health issues in Utah. For more information, please visit the Utah APPLETREE website.

The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 22 May 2022 18:02:53 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 16 Jun 2020 15:01:22 MDT