Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preterm birth rates improve in most US states, report finds

Date:
November 17, 2010
Source:
March of Dimes Foundation
Summary:
Eight states earned a better grade on the 2010 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card and 32 others and the District of Columbia saw their preterm birth rates improve.

Eight states earned a better grade on the 2010 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card and 32 others and the District of Columbia saw their preterm birth rates improve.

Following three decades of increases, in 2008 the nation saw the first two-year decline in the preterm birth rate, a 4 percent drop from 2006. The 2008 preliminary preterm birth rate dropped to 12.3 percent, from the 2006 final rate of 12.8 percent. The March of Dimes says 79 percent of the decline was among babies born just a few weeks too soon.

Overall, the United States received a "D" on the report card, when national preterm birth rates are measured against the Healthy People 2010 goals. The United States has a high rate of preterm birth compared to top scoring states and, notably, most industrialized countries.

"The policy changes and programs to prevent preterm birth that our volunteers and staff have worked so hard to bring about are starting to pay off," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "The two-year decline we have seen nationwide, though small, are encouraging. We believe this decline is the beginning of a trend, but must be supported by better health care, new research and adoption of intervention programs to lower the risk of preterm birth."

The March of Dimes released its 2010 report card on Nov. 17, the 8th Annual Prematurity Awareness Day®, when the nation is asked to focus attention on the growing problem of premature birth.

"As a family doctor, I've seen the terrible impact of premature birth," said U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, who unveiled a new public service announcement about the serious problem of preterm birth. "It can cause life-long disabilities, and it is the leading cause of deaths in newborns.

"Our country has one of the highest rates of preterm birth in the world," Benjamin said. "We have to do better."

In the United States, more than half a million babies are born preterm each year. Preterm birth, birth before 37 weeks gestation, is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifetime health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others. Even infants born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. The last few weeks of pregnancy are critical to a baby because many important organs, including the brain, are not completely developed until then.

On the 2010 report card, 17 states earned a "C," 20 received a "D," and 13 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico failed. However, most states saw improvement in at least one of the three contributing factors the March of Dimes tracks.

  • 28 states and Puerto Rico reduced the percentage of women of childbearing age who smoke;
  • 17 states and the District of Columbia reduced the percentage of uninsured women of childbearing age;
  • 37 states and Puerto Rico lowered the late preterm birth rate, infants born between 34 and 36 weeks gestation.

There are known strategies that can lower the risk of an early birth, such as smoking cessation, preconception care, early prenatal care, progesterone treatments for women with a history of preterm birth, avoiding multiples from fertility treatments and avoiding unnecessary c-sections and inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by March of Dimes Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

March of Dimes Foundation. "Preterm birth rates improve in most US states, report finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117094019.htm>.
March of Dimes Foundation. (2010, November 17). Preterm birth rates improve in most US states, report finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117094019.htm
March of Dimes Foundation. "Preterm birth rates improve in most US states, report finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117094019.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins