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Officials: NC infant mortality rate edges higher

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Health officials say North Carolina's infant mortality rate rose slightly in 2011, one year after the state registered its lowest rate ever.

Statistics released by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday showed the mortality rate reached 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011, up from the record 7.0 in 2010.

Since 2008, the infant mortality rate has dropped 12.2 percent from a rate of 8.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Also, data collected by the State Center for Health Statistics showed deaths attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, fell to 50 in 2011. That's down from 136 in 2008. DHHS said that represents a 60 percent reduction in SIDS rates and deaths since 1994, when DHHS began the Back to Sleep campaign.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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