Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prematurity Awareness Day

Utah Statistics (March of Dimes' Premature birth report card):

Preterm birth rate = 11.4%
US Rank - 14th
Grade = D

No state received an "A" grade
One state (Vermont) got a "B"
Eight states received a "C"
Everyone else got "D"
Eighteen states got failing grades of "F" - mostly in the midwest, south, plus Arizona and Nevada (click on the post title to see the map)

About 1 in 11 women of childbearing age in Utah is a smoker. Smoking cessation programs can reduce the risk of premature birth. (Utah actually has a lower rate of smoking than most states and this seems very high - is it really as high as M.O.D. says?).

About 1 in 12 live births in Utah is late preterm (34-36 weeks gestation). The rise in late preterm births has been linked to rising rates of early induction of labor and c-sections. Policies of "no induction or C-section before 39 weeks unless there is clear medical indication" helps to reduce late preterm births. This results in healthier newborns and significant cost reduction for parents and insurers.

Clearly some of the premature babies can be prevented, though many are without predictable risk.

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