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Preterm Births Rise 36 Percent Since Early 1980s
Date:1/7/2009

tegies to prevent preterm birth" Dr. Howse continued.

Preterm birth is the leading cause of death in the first month of life and a contributing cause in more than a third of all infant deaths. Babies who survive an early birth face the risk of serious lifelong health problems and even late preterm infants have a greater risk of breathing problems, feeding difficulties, temperature instability (hypothermia), jaundice, delayed brain development and an increased risk of cerebral palsy and mental retardation.

Last month, the March of Dimes issued its first-ever Premature Birth Report Card, which gave the United States a "D" -- and not a single "A" to any state -- by comparing 2005 preterm birth rates to the national Healthy People 2010 objective of 7.6 percent. The report card is online at www.marchofdimes.com/petition.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. Its mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.

For detailed national, state, and county perinatal data, visit marchofdimes.com/peristats.


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SOURCE March of Dimes
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