US preterm birth rate drops; NC earns 'C' on Report Card - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

US preterm birth rate drops; NC earns 'C' on Report Card

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NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) – While the preterm birth rate in the United States dropped for a fifth consecutive year, it again earned a "C" on the Report Card, according to the March of Dimes.

With one in eight babies born too soon, the rate is higher than that of most developed nations.

Four states in the country earned an "A" rating (Vermont, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Maine); while four others earned an "F" (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico).

 "These results demonstrate that many premature births can be prevented with the right policies and bold leadership," said March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse in a press release.  "Our national progress in reducing premature births over the past five years shows that when infant health becomes a priority, babies benefit. We must 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."

North Carolina earned a "C," having 12.6% of babies born early. According to the March of Dimes, NC has pledged to reduce the preterm birth rate by 8% by 1014.

Click here for Report Card information for each state.

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