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SELECTED FEATURES                                                        
The purpose of this section is to identify and discuss some of the major maternal                             
and child health indicators for 2003, thereby orienting the reader to the data                                
presented throughout the report.                                                                              
Arkansas resident live births increased slightly from 37,456 in 2002 to 37,795 in                             
2003, an increase of 0.9 percent.  The Crude Live Birth Rate increased from 13.8                              
to 13.9 per 1,000 persons.                                                                                    
All live births have been classified by race of mother into white, black, and other.                          
Live births increased slightly for whites, decreased for blacks and remained stable                           
for other groups.                                                                                             
The number of live births to adolescent mothers, those under the age of 20, has                               
continued to decline in Arkansas since 1999, following a nationwide trend.                                    
In 1999, 17.5 percent of all live births occurred to teenage women.  In 2003,                                 
this percentage dropped to 14.8.                                                                              
Live births to unmarried mothers increased by 432 from 2002 to 2003, going from                               
13,921 to 14,353.  The percent went up from 37.2 in 2002 to 38.0 in 2003.                                     
Of all live births, 8.9 percent, or 3,360 babies, were low birth weight (LBW) births                          
{weighing less than 2500 grams (5  pounds)}.  The proportion of LBW infants among whites                     
has increased from 7.4 percent in 2002 to 7.6 percent in 2003. The number of LBW blacks                       
increased from 13.6 percent in 2002 to 14.6 percent in 2003.                                                  
A total of 18.0 percent of all deliveries were done by Cesarean section (6,786 out of                         
37,795 births).  Only 11.8 percent were repeat C-Section procedures (a previous birth for                     
this mother was also a C-section delivery).                                                                   
Approximately 62 percent (202) of the 326 Arkansans who died before their first birthday                      
were less than 28 days old (neonatal deaths).  The Arkansas infant mortality rate was 8.6                     
deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003, compared with 8.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in                       
1999 and a national average of 6.9 in 2003.                                                                   
Black Arkansans had an infant mortality rate of 13.7, compared to a white rate of 7.7.                        
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