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US Preterm Birth Rate Declines for 6th Consecutive Year, Says Federal Report

White Plains, New York — Friday, September 06, 2013

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The US preterm birth rate fell for the sixth consecutive year in 2012 to 11.54 percent of all births, the lowest it has been in 15 years and a 10 percent decline since the 2006 peak of 12.8 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statics report issued today.

Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes issued the following statement:

“This is great news and it means thousands more babies were spared the serious health consequences of an early birth,” said March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse.  “This sustained improvement over these past six consecutive years shows that when infant health becomes a priority, babies benefit. We thank our many state and local health department and hospital partners and physicians and nurses for their dedication to the health of moms and babies. With their continued support, and with the right policies and bold leadership, we look forward to  continued health improvements for newborns. We will continue to implement proven interventions and accelerate our investment in new research to prevent preterm birth so one day every baby will get a healthy start in life. ”

About March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. 

For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. To participate in our annual signature fundraising event, visit marchforbabies.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit persistats.org. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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