New statewide data released Wednesday show infant mortality rates rose across the Piedmont Triad in 2016.

The North Carolina Center for Health Statistics defines infant mortality as the death of a child before their first birthday, regardless of cause.

Under those parameters, 42 infants died last year in Forsyth County. That's a rate of 9.3 per 1,000 live births, the highest among the state's five biggest urban counties.

In Guilford County, the infant mortality rate hit 8.3 per 1,000.

Both places saw their rates rise over the previous year.

Infant mortality is influenced by a wide range of factors, including smoking, drug use, poverty and more.

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