07/19/2012 02:30 EDT | Updated 09/18/2012 05:12 EDT

Report says baby deaths higher in core Saskatoon neighbourhoods than other areas

SASKATOON - A report says there are more baby deaths in core neighbourhoods of Saskatoon than in other neighbourhoods and rural areas.

The report by the Saskatoon Health Region looked at births from 2007 to 2009 and found that the number of baby deaths has steadily declined.

It says the infant mortality rate ranged from 3.5 to 7.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

But it also noted that residents in core neighbourhoods have 1 1/2 times higher infant mortality rates.

The report says babies born to mothers in core neighbourhoods are at higher risk of low birth weight, premature birth, being born to a teenage mother, injuries and infections.

The leading cause of infant mortality was birth defects followed by premature births.