INFANT DEATHS

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FYI: Fort Greene, Brooklyn had the highest infant mortality rate in the city in 2002, leaping from a rate of 6.5 deaths per 1,000 births in 2001 to 13.9, according to new health department figures. The department said there were no demographic changes in the neighborhood to explain the jump, and blamed it on a high number of infants with extremely low birth weights. Brownsville was the only other neighborhood with a rate above 10 (10.9). Overall, the city’s infant mortality rate dropped to its lowest ever, to 6.0 from 6.1, keeping it far below the national rate of 6.9. The rates are based on 742 infant deaths (defining as passing before reaching one year of age) out of 122,937 births. [9/18/03]