Poverty is a major factor in poor health habits, and the infant mortality rate for the black population far outpaces that of white people in Trumbull County, according to results of a health survey released Thursday.

Renee Jones, chief nursing officer at St. Joseph Warren Hospital, said she was surprised by the discrepancy in infant mortality between black and white communities. For 2013 to 2017, there were 6.1 infant mortalities per 1,000 live births in white families, and 18.1 in black families, according to the report. The county averaged 8.1 infant mortalities for the same time period.

“I was aware of the discrepancy,” Jones said. “I just didn’t realize it was that significant.”

The study took into account income, which proved to be a significant factor in reported health conditions. Thirty-one percent of people with an income of less than $25,000 reported having overall “poor health,” compared to 14 percent of those with higher incomes.

Similar discrepancies related to income were identified in the number of people who reported being smokers, obese and abusing prescription drugs.

“Income affected every single thing — habits, behaviors, chronic illness, mental health,” said Frank Migliozzi, commissioner for the Trumbull County Combined Health District.

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