Nevada’s preterm birth rate — birth before 37-week gestation — dropped to 13.5 percent in 2008, according to the report, however it still earned an “F” on the report card for the third consecutive year.
“We hope that this improvement in the preterm birth rate is the beginning of a trend, and we’re proud to see that the March of Dimes investment in Nevada is reaping benefits for moms and babies,” said Michelle Gorelow, director of program services for the March of Dimes Nevada Chapter.
Wednesday was the eighth annual Prematurity Awareness Day, when the nation is asked to focus its attention on the serious problem of premature birth. In Nevada, 14.3 percent, or one out of every eight, babies are born too soon, before their lungs, brains or other organs were fully developed, according to the March of Dimes.
Factors that contribute to preterm birth also improved in Nevada, the report said. The state earned a star for lowering the late preterm birth rate.
In 2008, the year for the latest statistics, the rate of late preterm births is 10.1 percent, a decrease from 10.7 percent; the rate of women smoking is 21.9 percent, an increase from 19.2 percent; and the rate of uninsured women is 24 percent, an increase from 23 percent.
Following three decades of increases, in 2008 the nation achieved the first two-year decline in the preterm birth rate, when the preliminary preterm birth rate dropped to 12.3 percent. However the rate is still too far from the Healthy People 2010 goal of 7.6 percent and gave the nation a “D.”
The March of Dimes recently released a tool kit to help lower the number of medically unnecessary cesarean sections and inductions done before 39 weeks gestation. It is available at the March of Dimes website, www.marchofdimes.com/prematurity/ndex_professionals_66663.asp.
For more information, visit www.marchofdimes.com or http://nacersano.org.