NICHD-supported research has led to revolutionary advances that help promote infant health:
- Since the Institute was founded, infant death rates in the United States have dropped more than 70%, with much of the decline resulting from NICHD-sponsored research.
- The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has dropped more than 50% since the NICHD-led Safe to Sleep education campaign (formerly the Back to Sleep campaign) to reduce the risk of SIDS began.
- Transmission of HIV from infected mothers to fetuses and infants has dropped from 25% to less than 2%, as a result of NICHD's efforts in collaboration with other agencies and organizations.
- The incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), once the leading cause of acquired intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), has dropped more than 99% because of NICHD scientists' development of the Hib vaccine, which has nearly eliminated the disease.
- Newborn screening programs for congenital hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria, and other conditions prevent many cases of IDDs and other disabilities by allowing early diagnosis and treatment.
The NICHD partners with many other governmental agencies, foundations, and other entities to carry out its research portfolio on infant health and care and to make sure that parents have access to the most up-to-date information about caring for their infants.