HealthDay operates under the strictest editorial standards. Our syndicated news content is completely independent of any financial interests, is based solely on industry-respected sources and the latest scientific research, and is carefully fact-checked by a team of industry experts to ensure accuracy.
- All articles are edited and checked for factual accuracy by our Editorial Team prior to being published.
- Unless otherwise noted, all articles focusing on new research are based on studies published in peer-reviewed journals or issued from independent and respected medical associations, academic groups and governmental organizations.
- Each article includes a link or reference to the original source.
- Any known potential conflicts of interest associated with a study or source are made clear to the reader.
Please see our Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy for more detail.Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy
HealthDay Editorial Commitment
HeathDay is committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of impartial editorial standards in the content that we present on our website. All of our articles are chosen independent of any financial interests. Editors and writers make all efforts to clarify any financial ties behind the studies on which we report.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- After nearly a decade of decline, the preterm birth rate in the United States has risen for the second year in a row, the March of Dimes reports.
And racial and ethnic disparities are driving the increase, the group added.
The premature birth rate rose from 9.63 percent in 2015 to 9.8 percent in 2016, and the number of preterm births increased by 8,000, according to the group's new report. The premature birth rate was 9.57 percent in 2014, according to the March of Dimes.
"The U.S. preterm birth rate is among the worst of highly developed nations," said Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes. "This report card is a public wake-up call, an urgent call to action on the health of our nation's moms and babies."
Compared to white women, black women are 49 percent more likely to deliver preterm. For American Indian/Alaska Native women, the number is 18 percent.
"Moms and babies face a higher risk of preterm birth based on race and zip code," Stewart said in a March of Dimes news release.
A baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered premature. A full-term birth is around 40 weeks.
Each year, more than 380,000 babies are born preterm in the United States, putting them at increased risk of death before their first birthday, lifelong disabilities and chronic health conditions. Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant death in the United States, the organization says.
And preterm birth is associated with more than $26 billion annually in avoidable medical and societal costs, according to the National Academy of Medicine.
"We must address the social and environmental factors that impact health," said Dr. Paul Jarris, chief medical officer of the March of Dimes. "Only by improving the broader social context for health will we be able to level the playing field for mothers and babies in every community."
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more on preterm labor and birth.
This story may be outdated. We suggest some alternatives.
The content contained in this article is over two years old. As such our recommendation is that you reference the articles below for the latest updates on this topic. This article has been left on our site as a matter of historic record. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Updated on May 29, 2022