Health experts examine Miss. infant mortality rate

JACKSON, Miss. -- Health experts are gathering Wednesday in Jackson to discuss ways to reduce Mississippi's infant mortality rate, which is the highest in the nation.

In 2011, Mississippi had 9.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. The national rate was 6 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The statistics are for children who die before reaching their first birthday.

The Mississippi State Department of Health says the top causes of infant mortality are premature birth or low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, birth defects, accidents or maternal difficulties.

The state health officer, state epidemiologist and others are meeting at the Jackson Convention Complex beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday.