Premature births on the rise in US

March of Dimes gives Duval County an 'F' for its high premature birth rate

March of Dimes gives Duval County an 'F' for its high premature birth rate

According to the March of Dimes, Oregon received an A grade on the Premature Birth Report Card. Richland County got an F, with a 11.2-percent rate. The organization defines premature birth as less than 37 weeks of pregnancy.

More local babies are being born too soon, making Duval County the worst in the state among large counties for premature births, according to a new report released on Wednesday. Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant death in the United States, the organization says. The city's premature birth rate is 10.4 percent, according to the study. More than 380,000 babies are born preterm in the USA each year, facing a greater likelihood of death before their first birthday, lifelong disabilities or chronic health conditions, the report states.

Chatham County had a rate of 9.4 percent, for a "C", and Orange County had a rate of 8.2 percent, for a "B". Broward got a C for its 10.3-percent rate, and Palm Beach also got a C with 9.9 percent.

The A grade means that only 8% of babies born in OR in 2016 were preterm, meaning born before 37 weeks gestation.

"It impacts babies all around this country".

"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", Stewart said.

For the second year in a row, Fresno County has the highest preterm birth rate in California, putting infants who are born too soon at increased risk of death before their first birthday or of a lifetime of disabilities. American Indian/Alaska Native women are 18 percent more likely to deliver preterm compared to white women.

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