Idaho Receives 'B' From March of Dimes, 'Moving in Wrong Direction'

by


The nation's preterm birth rate fell in 2013, but caregivers cautioned that there are still too many premature babies.

A new report card from the March of Dimes indicates that preterm births in the United States dropped to 11.5 percent in 2012—that's a 15-year low and the sixth year in a row where the rate has fallen. But the same report revealed that premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death in the U.S.

Idaho was given a "B" from the March of Dimes for having a 10.3 percent premature birth rate. That's down from 11.6 percent in 2006, but March of Dimes also said that Idaho was "moving in the wrong direction" by having a 28.1 percent rate of uninsured women and 21.6 percent of women who smoke.


Three states—Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama—received "F" grades. Six states received an "A" grade: Alaska, California, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont.

About 450,000 babies are born prematurely each year, which is defined as a birth at least three weeks before their expected due date.

At least 80 countries have rates of preterm births below 9.6 percent, according to a United Nations report, "Born Too Soon," released last year. They include China, Romania, Cuba and Latvia. Every developed country has a rate of preterm births lower than that of the United States.