PeriStats

What information are you looking for? Please start your selection with either location or topic. Not all items are required. After you submit, you can narrow your results by year or health indicator or compare with another region. To get the best results, use reset button before starting a new search.
Search User Control
Location: Please select
edit
Topic: Please select
edit
Format: Please select
edit
slides (0)

News

Nation Gets a "D" as March of Dimes Releases Premature Birth Report Card

18 States, Puerto Rico and DC Failed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., NOV. 12, 2008 - The United States is failing hundreds of thousands of its youngest citizens on the day they are born, according to the March of Dimes.

In the first of what will be an annual Premature Birth Report Card, the nation received a "D" and not a single state earned an "A," when the March of Dimes compared actual preterm birth rates to the national Healthy People 2010 objective.

The only state to earn a "B" was Vermont. Eight others earned a "C," 23 states earned a "D," and 18 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia got failing grades of "F."

"It is unacceptable that our nation is failing so many preterm babies," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "We are determined to find and implement solutions to prevent preterm birth, based on research, best clinical practices, and improved education for moms."

November 12 marks the nation's 6th Annual Prematurity Awareness Day, a time when the March of Dimes mobilizes volunteers and parents to draw attention to premature birth (birth before 37 weeks gestation), which affects more than 530,000 babies each year in the United States. Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and a major cause of lifelong disability.

In this election year, the March of Dimes invites all Americans to help send a message to our new President and to federal and state lawmakers by signing the 2008 Petition for Preemies at marchofdimes.com/petition.

In addition to providing state rankings, the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card analyzes several contributing factors and prevention opportunities, including rates of late preterm birth, smoking, and uninsured women of childbearing age. The purpose is to raise public awareness of the growing crisis of preterm birth so elected and appointed officials will commit more resources to address this problem and policymakers will support development of strategies that benefit mothers and babies.

The Report Card also is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Association of Women's Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, the National Business Group on Health, the American Benefits Council and dozens of other business and maternal and infant health organizations.

The Report Card also calls for:

  • Expanded federal support for prematurity-related research to uncover the causes of premature birth and lead not only to strategies for prevention, but also improved care and outcomes for preterm infants.
  • Hospital leaders to voluntarily review all Cesarean-section births and inductions of labor that occur before 39 weeks gestation, in an effort to reverse America?s rising preterm birth rate. The review should ensure that all c-sections and inductions meet established professional guidelines.
  • Policymakers to improve access to health coverage for women of childbearing age and to support smoking cessation programs as part of maternity care.
  • Businesses to create workplaces that support maternal and infant health, such as providing private areas to pump breast milk, access to flextime, and information about how to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.

The National Healthy People 2010 preterm birth objective is to lower the rate to 7.6 percent of all live births. Latest available data (2005) show that the national preterm birth rate is 12.7 percent.

"Employers can play a key role in helping their employees and dependents have healthy babies and healthy families," said Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health. "The March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card provides guidance on best practices that can help any size business."

The March of Dimes says that in 2009, Report Card grades will reflect state actions taken that have the potential to reduce preterm birth rates in future years.

Preterm birth is the leading cause of death in the first month of life in the United States. The preterm birth rate has increased more than 20 percent since 1990, and costs the nation more than $26 billion a year, according to the Institute of Medicine report issued in July 2006.

Babies who survive a premature birth face the risk of serious life-long health problems including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing loss, and other chronic conditions including asthma. Even infants born just a few weeks too soon have a greater risk of breathing problems, feeding difficulties, hypothermia (temperature instability), jaundice and delayed brain development.

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 information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. And for detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit PeriStats at marchofdimes.com/PeriStats.

Headlines

August, 2014

 PRAMS Data Updated for 2011
 

June, 2014

 March of Dimes 2014 Hispanic Report
 
 2012 Natality and 2010 Infant Mortality Data Updated
 

May, 2014

 PRAMS Data Updated for 2009 and 2010
 

August, 2013

 Fetal and Perinatal Mortality Data Updated
 

October, 2011

 Special Care Nursery Admissions
 

November, 2010

 Preterm Birth Rates Improve in Most States
 

May, 2010

 Federal Report Finds Early Births Decline in Most Categories
 

April, 2010

 Preterm Birth Rate Drops Three Percent
 

November, 2009

 U.S. Gets a "D" for Preterm Birth Rate
 

March, 2009

 Preterm Birth Rate Drops
 

February, 2009

 States Expand Newborn Screening for Life-Threatening Disorders
 

January, 2009

 Preterm Births Rise 36 Percent Since Early 1980s
 

December, 2008

 Babies Born Just a Few Weeks Too Soon at Greater Risk of Cerebral Palsy and Other Developmental Delays
 

October, 2008

 Nation Gets a "D" as March of Dimes Releases Premature Birth Report Card
 

July, 2008

 Preterm Birth Contributes to Growing Number of Infant Deaths
 

May, 2008

 C- Sections a Critical Factor in Preterm Birth Increase
 
 Analysis of Millions of U.S. Births Shows Association Between Birth Defects and Preterm Birth
 

December, 2007

 More Babies Born Prematurely, New Report Shows
 

July, 2007

 Nearly 90% of Babies Receive Recommended Newborn Screening Tests
 

June, 2007

 March of Dimes Study Unveils New Data on the Cost of Having a Baby
 

May, 2007

 Preterm Birth Contributes To More Than One-Third of Infant Deaths
 

April, 2007

 New State Perinatal Data Snapshots
 

July, 2006

 Institute of Medicine Prematurity Report
 
 Nearly Two-Thirds of Babies Receive Most of the Recommended Newborn Screening Tests
 

March, 2006

 Typical Pregnancy is Now Only 39 Weeks
 

November, 2005

 New March of Dimes report on Hispanic Preterm Births
 

January, 2005

 Progesterone Therapy for Some High Risk Pregnant Women Could Prevent Thousands of Premature Births
 

September, 2004

 Folic Acid Vitamin Use By Women Reaches All-Time High, March of Dimes Survey Finds
 

August, 2004

 New PeriStats Web Site: Overview of new features
 
 March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center launches new PeriStats web site!
 

June, 2004

 March of Dimes State Report Card on Newborn Screening