Premature Birth Rate Drops for 5th Consecutive Year
The number of premature births in the United States has dropped to 11.7 percent of all births, the lowest number in a decade, and the 5th consecutive year the number has fallen. This news from the March of Dimes in its annual Premature Birth Rate Report Card. Though the U.S. as a whole earned a "C" grade from the report card, four states--Vermont, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Maine--earned "A" grades for their excellent prenatal health education programs and other measures, including smoking cessation programs, that help reduce preterm birth rates.
The March of Dimes has set a goal of reducing the total number of premature births to 9.6 by the year 2020, as the organization's president, Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, discusses in this video about the report card: