(HealthDay)—During 2014 to 2016, the rate of preterm births in the United States increased, according to a June data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H., and Michelle J.K. Osterman, M.H.S., from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Md., reviewed data from the National Vital Statistics System to describe trends in total, early (less than 34 weeks), and late (34 to 36 weeks) preterm births during 2014 to 2016.
The researchers found that during 2014 to 2016 there was an increase in the U.S. preterm birth rate from 9.57 to 9.85 percent. The increase largely reflected an increase among late preterm births, especially births occurring at 36 weeks. In singleton deliveries there was a 4 percent increase in total and late preterm birth rates; among multiple births there was also an increase in total and late preterm births. Increases in total and late preterm birth rates were seen among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women. Among non-Hispanic black women there was also an increase in early preterm births. Increases in preterm birth rates were observed in 23 states and the District of Columbia.
"The latest provisional information from the National Center for Health Statistics Rapid Release program shows a continuing increase in total and late preterm birth rates and a stable early preterm birth rate for all births through 2017," the authors write.
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