The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published the annual data on unexplained infant deaths in England and Wales for the year 2017. The data pertain to infant deaths for which the cause could not be established after a complete investigation, considering the associated risk factors.
Key findings from the report are as follows:
- A total of 183 unexplained infant deaths were recorded in England and Wales in 2017, representing a decrease of 19.0 per cent compared with 2016.
- The rate of unexplained infant mortality decreased from 0.50 in 2004 (when the records began) to 0.27 deaths per 1000 live births in 2017 (lowest ever recorded).
- Unexplained infant deaths accounted for 6.9 per cent of overall infant mortality in 2017, declining from 8.5 per cent in 2016 and 7.6 per cent in 2015.
- Boys accounted for 55.2 per cent of all unexplained infant deaths in 2017.
- Babies having low birth weight (
Rabiya Nasir from ONS's Vital Statistics Outputs Branch said: "The fall in unexplained deaths may be due to factors such as fewer expectant mothers smoking and more awareness of safer sleeping practices."