Infant mortality rate (IMR) is used as a population health indicator. We provide an updated description of temporal and geographical trends of IMR in Italy.Methods
Regional data on infant deaths and live births were available for France, Germany, England, Portugal (1999–2000), and Italy (1990–2001). Mortality rates including 95% CIs and time-trends were computed.Results
IMR was 4.5 per 1000 live births in 1999–2001. Between 1999–2001 and 1990–1992 both neonatal and post-neonatal mortality rates declined (P < 0.05) but not the North/South ratio. In 1999–2000 the regional variability in IMR was higher in Italy than in other European countries.Conclusion
Despite progresses in reducing IMR, geographical disparities persist within Italy.