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Report: US preterm birth rate on the rise

Maternal Health
Posted at 12:37 PM, Nov 15, 2022

The U.S. earned a D+ in the March of Dimes annual report card, which looks at maternal and infant health.

The organization notes that the U.S. preterm birth rate increased to 10.5% in 2021. That's up 4% from the previous year.

“While fewer babies are dying, more of them are being born too sick and too soon which can lead to lifelong health problems," said Stacey D. Stewart, president and CEO of March of Dimes.

Some states are doing better than others. Vermont was the only state to receive an A. The organization says it has an 8% preterm birth rate and a 2.8% infant mortality rate. The U.S. rate is 5.4%.

Nine states, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia, received an F.

March of Dimes notes that there is a racial disparity in the statistics. The organization says more than 21% of Black women and 26% of Native women doe not receive adequate parental care.