Report: Preterm birth rate falls to lowest level in decade

AHA News Now

The U.S. preterm birth rate fell for the fifth straight year in 2011 to 11.7%, the lowest in a decade, according to a report released today by the March of Dimes. The report card graded each state on its preterm birth rate compared to the March of Dimes' goal of lowering the rate to 9.6% of all live births by 2020. Forty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico saw improvement in their rates between 2009 and 2011. The largest declines in premature births occurred among babies born at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy.

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