U.S. preemie birth rates rise two years in a row

November 1, 2017

(HealthDay)—After nearly a decade of decline, the preterm birth rate in the United States has risen for the second year in a row, the March of Dimes reports.

And racial and ethnic disparities are driving the increase, the group added.

The premature rate rose from 9.63 percent in 2015 to 9.8 percent in 2016, and the number of preterm births increased by 8,000, according to the group's new report. The premature birth rate was 9.57 percent in 2014, according to the March of Dimes.

"The U.S. preterm birth rate is among the worst of highly developed nations," said Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes. "This report card is a public wake-up call, an urgent call to action on the of our nation's moms and ."

Compared to white women, black women are 49 percent more likely to deliver preterm. For American Indian/Alaska Native women, the number is 18 percent.

"Moms and babies face a higher risk of preterm birth based on race and zip code," Stewart said in a March of Dimes news release.

A baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered premature. A full-term birth is around 40 weeks.

Each year, more than 380,000 babies are born preterm in the United States, putting them at increased risk of death before their first birthday, lifelong disabilities and . Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant death in the United States, the organization says.

And is associated with more than $26 billion annually in avoidable medical and societal costs, according to the National Academy of Medicine.

"We must address the social and environmental factors that impact health," said Dr. Paul Jarris, chief medical officer of the March of Dimes. "Only by improving the broader social context for health will we be able to level the playing field for mothers and babies in every community."

Explore further: U.S. premature births rise for 1st time in 8 years

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more on preterm labor and birth.

Related Stories

U.S. premature births rise for 1st time in 8 years

November 1, 2016
(HealthDay)—The rate of premature births in the United States increased in 2015 for the first time in eight years, and rates are especially high among certain racial and ethnic groups, a March of Dimes report says.

United States' premature birth rate continues to decline

January 31, 2013
(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.

U.S. teen births hit historic low: CDC

May 30, 2017
(HealthDay)—Teen births continue to decline in the United States, with health officials reporting a 9 percent drop from 2013 to 2014.

US preterm birth rate drops to 15-year low

November 1, 2013
Six states – Alaska, California, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont – earned an "A" on the March of Dimes 2013 Premature Birth Report Card as their preterm birth rates met the March of Dimes 9.6 percent goal. The ...

March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card grades cities; focuses on racial disparities

November 5, 2015
Portland, Oregon has the best preterm birth rate of the top 100 cities with the most births nationwide, while Shreveport, Louisiana has the worst, according to the 2015 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, which for ...

Recommended for you

New study reveals time and day women are most likely to give birth

June 15, 2018
A new study has found that the time and day that women give birth can vary significantly depending on how labour starts and the mode of giving birth.

Blood test for pregnant women can predict premature birth

June 7, 2018
A new blood test for pregnant women detects with 75-80 percent accuracy whether their pregnancies will end in premature birth. The technique can also be used to estimate a fetus's gestational age—or the mother's due date—as ...

Drug combination offers more effective care for patients suffering miscarriage

June 6, 2018
A combination of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol can help bring closure to some women and their families suffering from miscarriage, and reduces the need for surgical intervention to complete the painful miscarriage ...

Genes, environment and schizophrenia—new study finds the placenta is the missing link

May 28, 2018
Hiding in plain sight, new research shines a spotlight on the placenta's critical role in the nature versus nurture debate and how it confers risk for schizophrenia and likely other neurodevelopmental disorders including ...

Vendors say pot eases morning sickness. Will baby pay a price?

May 22, 2018
(HealthDay)—Nearly 70 percent of Colorado marijuana dispensaries recommended pot products to manage early pregnancy-related morning sickness, new research reveals.

Pregnancy drug DES might have triggered ADHD in the grandchildren of women who used it

May 21, 2018
A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reported elevated odds for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the grandchildren ...

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.