Photo: Adam Hilliker (Flickr)
Data released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows Indiana continues to struggle with its rate of babies born at low birth weight.
In 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, 8.3 percent of Hoosier babies were born at low birth weight, up from 7.3 percent in 2000.
Indiana Youth Institute President Bill Stanczykiewicz said Indiana has struggled with the issue for close to two decades, in part because there are multiple factors affecting it.
“We have a challenge with some of our younger pregnant moms not accessing prenatal care or not being able to access prenatal care,” Stanczykiewicz said. “Also, the percentages of our pregnant moms who smoke is twice that of the national average.”
Indiana’s low birth weight rate is now worse than the national average, which is 8.2 percent.