US preterm birth rates fall
The US preterm birth rate fell for the sixth consecutive year in 2012 to 11.54 percent of all births, the lowest it has been in 15 years, according to the National Center for Health Statics report issued this week. “This is great news and it means thousands more babies were spared the serious health consequences of an early birth,” said March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse. “This sustained improvement … shows that when infant health becomes a priority, babies benefit.” Howse said the dedication to health of moms and babies by many state and local health department and hospital partners, physicians and nurses has contribute to the lower preterm birth rate. “With their continued support, and with the right policies and bold leadership, we look forward to continued health improvements for newborns,” Howse said. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. This mission is accomplished through programs of research, advocacy, community service, and education. For more information about March of Dimes, call 982-0177 or visit marchofdimesph.com.