The rate of infant deaths decreased for a third straight year to 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. According to the 2018 North Carolina Infant Mortality Report, there were 806 infant deaths in 2018 compared to 852 the previous year. While the African American infant mortality rate reached an all-time low decreasing to 12.2%, the report found the rate is still more than twice the white infant mortality rate at 5%. According to a news release, several factors such as poverty, racism, education, tobacco use, obesity, and access to medical care before and after a pregnancy influence infant mortality rate. The leading causes of infant deaths in North Carolina are preterm birth and low birth weight, birth defects, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, and maternal complications.