March Of Dimes: Florida Earns ‘C’ Rating As Premature Birth Rate Rises To 10.1%

By on November 1, 2017 in WNDB News

Florida – The 2017 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card indicates that premature births in Florida have risen in the last year, qualifying the State for a ‘C’ grade.

In Florida, the preterm birth rate is 10.1% The nationwide rate also increased in the last year, earning the country an overall ‘C’ grade. Preterm births are the leading cause of infant death in the U.S. Every year, 380,000 preterm babies are born. In 2016, 6,000 more babies were born prematurely because the preterm birth rate rose in 2015.

These babies are likely to experience chronic health problems, disability, and even death before their 1st birthday. Some of the conditions caused by preterm birth include breathing difficulty, jaundice, loss of sight, cerebral palsy, and intellectual development issues. Preterm births occur before the 37th week of pregnancy.

“The 2017 March of Dimes Report Card demonstrates that moms and babies in this country face a higher risk of preterm birth based on race and zip code,” said March of Dimes President, Stacey D. Stewart.  “We see that preterm birth rates worsened in 43 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and among all racial/ethnic groups. This is an unacceptable trend that requires immediate attention.”

The National Academy of Medicine reports that premature births cost $26 billion in medical and societal costs every year. “The March of Dimes is dedicated to giving every baby a fair chance for a healthy start in life, and our work is more vital than ever,” said Stewart.

“In addition to discovering new ways to prevent premature birth, and improve the care that women receive, it’s essential that we improve the broader social context for health,” said March of Dimes chief medical officer, Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA. “Only then will our nation be able to level the playing field for mothers and babies in every community.”

The March of Dimes outlined several solutions to bring down the rate of premature birth. Those solutions are:

  • Expanding scientific research by understanding the relationship between premature births and health care, housing, jobs, neighborhood safety, food security, and income.
  • Increasing education by campaigning towards women of childbearing age and medical professionals
  • Strengthening advocacy for moms and babies by supporting policies and programs that protect their health
  • Improving health care programs and practices by supporting preterm babies and their families with Supportive Pregnancy Care and NICU Family Support

In 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, the rate of premature birth increased. In Alabama, Arizona, and Washington the rate stayed the same. In Nebraska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming, the rate decreased.

Other 2017 Premature Birth Report Card statistics include:

  • 4 states earning an ‘A’
  • 13 states earning a ‘B’
  • 18 states receiving a ‘C’
  • 11 states and the District of Columbia receiving a ‘D’
  • 4 states and Puerto Rico receiving an ‘F’

For more information about March of Dimes, go here.

Photo courtesy of StockKK and Shutterstock.com.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017

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