About the Data
Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.
Number of fetal deaths (20 or more weeks of gestation)
Number of live births plus fetal deaths (20 or more weeks gestation)
Beginning with the 2014 data year, NCHS transitioned to the use of the obstetric estimate of gestation at delivery (OE) as the standard measure for estimating gestational age. The OE replaces the measure based on the interval between the first day of the last normal menses (LMP) and the date of delivery — which was used for the 2005 to 2013 data.
This transition was made because of the increasing evidence of the greater validity of the OE compared with the LMP-based measure. Accordingly, beginning with the 2014 data year, gestational age data are based on the OE.
Descriptions of LMP and OE have been published by NCHS.
The use of the different gestational age measures resulted in only a small difference in the number of total fetal deaths at 20 and greater weeks for 2014 (23,980 vs 23,999). For 2014, the OE-based total U.S. fetal mortality rate was 5.98 fetal deaths at 20 weeks of gestation or more per 1,000 live births and fetal deaths, the same as the LMP-based rate
Any change to the objective text, baseline, target, target-setting method or data source since the Healthy People 2020 launch.
Additional resources about the objective
- MacDorman MF, Kirmeyer S. Fetal and perinatal mortality, United States, 2005. National vital statistics reports; vol 57 no 8. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009.