Today, November 17th, is Prematurity Awareness Day. Today we release our Premature Birth Report Card, an interactive map that shows how your state compares to other states and to the country as a whole.
Eight states earned a better grade on the 2010 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card and 32 others and the District of Columbia saw their preterm birth rates improve.
Following three decades of increases, in 2008 the nation saw the first two-year decline in the preterm birth rate, a 4 percent drop from 2006. The 2008 preliminary preterm birth rate dropped to 12.3 percent, from the 2006 final rate of 12.8 percent. The March of Dimes says 79 percent of the decline was among babies born just a few weeks too soon.
Overall, the United States received a “D” on the report card, when national preterm birth rates are measured against the Healthy People 2010 goals. The United States has a high rate of preterm birth compared to top scoring states and, notably, most industrialized countries.
Find out more and find out what you can do by visiting our Prematurity Awareness Web site at MarchofDimes.com/Fight.