U.S. premature birth rate jumps first time in 8 years in 2015

U.S. premature birth rate jumps first time in 8 years in 2015

The number of premature births in the U.S. increased for the first time in eight years in 2015, posing a new challenge to health authorities, according to the March of Dimes’ 2016 Premature Birth Report Card.

According to the report, the number of preterm births jumped from 9.57 per cent to 9.63 per cent of total births last year, as an additional 2,000 babies took preterm births in the country.

While Arkansas, Connecticut, Utah, Wisconsin, Idaho, Nebraska and New Mexico saw more preterm births in 2015 than the previous year; four states, viz. New Hampshire, Washington, Vermont and Oregon, saw preterm birth rates at 8.1 per cent or below.

Connecticut was given a “C” grade fro its preterm birth rate of 9.4 per cent. However, the New Haven County received a B grade as its preterm birth rate improved from 9.6 per cent to 8.9 per cent. Overall, the national uptick earned the nation a C grade on a scale of A to F.

Edward McCabe, the organization’s chief medical officer, said, “We want every baby, no matter where they're born, no matter their birth ethnicity, to be born with the best start in life. Every woman is trying to do the best that she can. We need to show her what can be done.”

Preterm birth, which is defined as a child born sooner than 37 weeks of pregnancy, causes various risks of health complications that can last even for lifetime. It is said to be the leading cause of neurological disorders like cerebral palsy. In addition, it can cause developmental delays and even infant death.


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