Preterm birth is defined as a live birth before 37 completed weeks gestation. Some other classifications of preterm births include late preterm (34-36 weeks), moderately preterm (32-36 weeks) and very preterm (<32 weeks). These classifications are useful because they often correspond to clinical characteristics - increasing morbidities or illnesses with decreasing gestational age. Babies born too soon are often born too small. While the causes of preterm birth and low birthweight may be different in some cases, there is significant overlap within these populations of infants.
| ||In 2011, 1 in 8 babies (11.7% of live births) was born preterm in the United States.|
| ||Between 2001 and 2011, the rate of infants born preterm in the United States declined nearly 2%.|
| ||The rate of preterm birth in the United States is highest for black infants (17.1%), followed by Native Americans (13.7%), Hispanics (11.8%), whites (10.7%) and Asians (10.6%).|
| ||Compared with singleton births (one baby), multiple births in the United States were about 6 times as likely to be preterm in 2011.|
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March of Dimes 2020 Goal
Reduce preterm births to no more than 9.6% of live births.
For more information, see here.
Healthy people 2020
Preterm births: reduce to no more than 11.4% of live births.
National Center for Health Statistics, final natality data.
Retrieved April 18, 2014, from www.marchofdimes.com/peristats.