- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama public health officials say the state’s infant mortality rate remained several points higher than the national mark in 2014.

State Department of Public Health officials said in a release Wednesday that Alabama’s infant mortality rate for 2014 was 8.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. Officials said the national rate in 2014 was 5.8, and 517 Alabama infants died before turning a year old in 2014.

Public health officials say the mortality rate for black infants was 13.9 per 1,000 compared with 6 per 1,000 for white infants. Officials say the persistent disparity exists in Alabama and across the country.

Public health officials say 8.5 percent of births were to teenage mothers and 9.7 teen mothers reported smoking during pregnancy. Officials say both figures are historic lows for Alabama.

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