China reduces infant deaths

China has made remarkable progress in reducing infant mortality in recent years, cutting the death rate for newborns by 62 percent in the 15 years, according to a new study published in the Lancet, a British medical journal.

Researchers found that China saw three infant deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2008, compared with 24.7 per 1,000 births in 1996. A summary of the study's findings credits better medical care and access to care for the dramatic reduction in infant mortality. Women who gave birth in hospitals appeared to have the best outcomes, according to the study. While the summary discussed medical care and access to care, it did not mention China's controversial one-child policy, which limits the number of children families can have and has put more societal emphasis on pregnancy and healthy births.

"Other countries can learn from China's substantial progress in reducing neonatal mortality," the abstract noted.