Study: 500k U.S. Babies Born Premature Every Year

A new study from the March of Dimes found that babies born in wealthier countries typically stay in the womb longer, although the rate in the U.S. is higher than other countries of similar economic status (Source: “Too many babies being born too soon,” Columbus Dispatch, May 3, 2012).

According to the March of Dimes report “Born Too Soon,” more than 12 percent of live births in the United States each year are premature. That is 5 percentage points higher than Russia, China and Canada and comparable to Kenya, Thailand and India.

Among the reasons for the U.S.’s relatively high rate of premature births are women having children later in life, planned Caesarean sections and a lack of access to family planning and adequate prenatal care.

One Ohio example of an effort to reduce premature births is the Better Births Outcomes Collaborative, which gives high-risk Central Ohio women progesterone shots to prevent premature birth or miscarriage.

Source: Ohio Health Policy Review, May 7, 2012

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