Number of MS mothers giving birth prematurely increases, new study finds

Image Baby Leah

Fresno County received a "C" on the 2017 March of Dimes Premature Birth Card.

All told, an additional 8,000 babies in America were born early in 2016 when compared to 2015. Preterm birth rates got worse in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and stayed the same in three states.

Premature births particularly impact women of color, with black women 49 percent more likely to have a premature birth than white women, and American Indian women 18 percent more likely than white women.

13 states received a "B" grade for preterm birthrates between 8.2 and 9.2 percent.

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 chronic health conditions.

Fresno County's preterm birth rate is the highest in California, according to a new study. The index was developed by the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center and is calculated for each USA state with adequate numbers, the District of Columbia and the total United States. North Carolina was 7th in the nation in infant mortality in 2015, at 7.23 infant deaths per 1,000 births.

The 2017 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card is based on the latest data from the National Center for Health Sciences. "This is an unacceptable trend that requires immediate attention".




"The March of Dimes is dedicated to giving every baby a fair chance for a healthy start in life, and our work is more vital than ever", Ms. Stewart said.

Although North Carolina received a "D", the grade for individual counties for which numbers were available varied.

Among African-Americans, 16 percent of MS children are born early, compared to 11 percent among whites.

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

A new report shows preterm births in Virginia are on the rise.

Overall, the United States earned a "C" for a premature birth rate of 9.8 percent.

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