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Indiana tries to reduce infant deaths after state report

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Officials say they hope a recently released state report on infant mortality in Indiana will help prevent deaths.

The Times of Munster reports the study looked at causes behind infant deaths. The report found the main three risk factors were expectant mothers being 15 to 20 years old, being enrolled in Medicaid and having fewer than 10 prenatal care visits.

Dr. Jennifer Walthall, deputy state health commissioner, says officials are optimistic they can make “meaningful change” in reducing infant deaths. Gov. Mike Pence’s proposed budget includes $13.5 million to tackle the problem.

State initiatives to address infant mortality include a recently launched program to teach parents about healthy habits.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Indiana had the fifth-highest infant mortality rate among states in 2010.