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California receives 'A' grade on Preterm Birth Report Card
Date:11/4/2013

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In California, the rate of late preterm births is 6.9%; the rate of women smoking is 11% and the rate of uninsured women is 23.8%. These factors contribute to improved infant health in California. The state earned a 'satisfactory' star on the report card for:

  • Reducing the percent of uninsured women of child-bearing age
  • Lowering the late preterm birth rate

These improvements mean not just healthier babies, but also a potential savings in health care and economic costs to society. However, there is still work to be done in reducing the percentage of women of childbearing age who smoke. The rate of women in California who smoke increased from 10.4% to 11.0% during this reporting period. March of Dimes will continue to work with the state legislature and other healthcare organizations to educate women on the dangers of smoking to reduce this percentage.

March of Dimes attributes the improved preterm birth rates to an expansion of successful programs and interventions, including actions by state health officials here and every other state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, who formally set goals to lower their preterm birth rates by 8 percent from their 2009 rate by 2014.

"We will continue to work together to improve access to health care, help women quit smoking and, through our Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait consumer education campaign, encourage women and health care providers to avoid scheduling a delivery before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless medically necessary," DeMartini added. "Seventy five percent of the hospitals in California are currently using March of Dimes toolkits and educational materials, and that is helping us see these incredibly positive results in our preterm birth rate, and we strongly encourage the remaining twenty-five percent to partner with us in building a world of healthier moms and babies here in California."

Despite these improvements in Cal
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Contact: Sheri A. Lunn
slunn@marchofdimes.com
818-539-2191
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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