Infant Mortality Rate Drops

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Health officials say the infant mortality rate is at its lowest level in New York City since such records have been kept.

A new report shows there were 5.4 deaths per thousand live births in 2007 compared to 5.9 in 2006. That's the largest single year drop since 2001.

The Health Department attributes the decline to greater outreach, like a visiting nurses program, breast feeding education and a safe sleep initiative.

The Bronx remains the borough with the highest rate of infant mortality, and health officials point out that citywide, African American babies continue to die at a higher rate than those of other groups.

The leading causes of infant mortality in the city are birth defects,low birth weight, cardiovascular disorders and injury.