United States' premature birth rate continues to decline

January 31, 2013
United states' premature birth rate continues to decline
The rate of premature births has declined to 11.7 percent, the lowest rate in a decade, according to the March of Dimes 2012 Premature Birth Report Card.

(HealthDay)—The rate of premature births has declined to 11.7 percent, the lowest rate in a decade, according to the March of Dimes 2012 Premature Birth Report Card.

The March of Dimes Report Card compares each state's rate with the goal set by the March of Dimes of lowering the rate to 9.6 percent of all by 2020. The report tracks states' progress towards lowering their preterm birth rates and assesses contributory factors.

According to the report, the U.S. preterm dropped for the fifth consecutive year in 2011, to 11.7 percent, with declines seen in every racial and ethnic group. The largest declines in occurred among babies born at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. Vermont, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Maine met the 9.6 percent preterm birth rate goal and consequently earned an "A" on their Report Cards. As a whole, the United States earned a "C" on the Report Card, and 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico saw improvements in their preterm birth rates in 2012. The improved rates are likely due to an increase in successful programs and interventions. The March of Dimes estimates potential savings of about $3 billion in health care and costs to society from the reduction in premature births.

"These results demonstrate that many premature births can be prevented with the right policies and bold leadership," Jennifer L. Howse, Ph.D., president of the March of Dimes, said in a statement. "Our national progress in reducing premature births over the past five years shows that when becomes a priority, babies benefit."

More information: More Information

Related Stories

US preterm birth rate shows 5-year improvement

November 13, 2012

The U.S. preterm birth rate dropped for the fifth consecutive year in 2011 to 11.7 percent, the lowest in a decade, giving thousands more babies a healthy start in life and saving billions in health and social costs.

Recommended for you

Does mom's cellphone startle the fetus?

May 6, 2015

(HealthDay)—The sounds emitted by cellphones carried by pregnant women may rattle the sleep-and-wake cycles of their fetuses, new research suggests.

New IVF device may improve fertility treatment

April 28, 2015

For couples struggling to conceive the old-fashioned way, in vitro fertilization (IVF) provides an alternate route to starting a family. When eggs are mixed with sperm in test tubes, the fertilized eggs to grow into embryos ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.