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Giving More Babies a Healthy Start in Life: An Anthem Foundation & March of Dimes Collaboration to Reduce Preterm Birth

premature infant
Giving More Babies a Healthy Start in Life: An Anthem Foundation & March of Dimes Collaboration to Reduce Preterm Birth

April 2017 - One in every 10 babies born in the United States is born prematurely,1 and prematurity is the leading cause of death for newborns.2  Babies born prematurely—before 37 weeks gestation—can face numerous short- and long-term health issues, including breathing problems, difficulty with feedings, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and vision and hearing impairments.3 

 

 
 
 

Following eight years of steady decline,4 the U.S. preterm birth rate rose in 2015 to 9.6 percent.5 Racial and ethnic disparities and geographical variations in these preterm births are widespread.5 Black women experience higher rates of preterm births than the national average.5 The Pacific Northwest has the lowest preterm birth rate, while southern states have the highest rates. In addition to the unfair toll on babies and their families, premature birth accounts for more than $26 billion annually in avoidable medical and societal costs.6

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