|Source: March of Dimes|
(Undated.) – Fewer babies are being born prematurely in Indiana, according to a new study from the March of Dimes.
The report shows Indiana was one of 40 states to lower its premature birth rate, defined as children born 37 weeks or earlier. The state lowered its preterm birth rate to 11.6 percent in 2010 and 2011. The figure is a decline of almost two percentage points from the 13.2 percent rate in 2006.
The March of Dimes graded Indiana a “C” on its annual report card. Ohio received the same letter grade with a 12.0 percent premature birth rate. Kentucky was rated a “D,” but was noted for showing improvement.
The U.S. was graded a “C” with a national premature birth rate of 11.7 percent.
“That means 64,000 fewer babies were born prematurely in 2010 compared to 2006, the peak year for preterm birth,” said March of Dimes Medical Director Dr. Edward McCabe. “Along with the personal cost, there's also an economic cost, and there's a potential savings of $3 billion in health care and economic costs associated with those 64,000 babies not being born preterm.”
The organization attributed the improved rates to an expansion of successful programs and interventions in several states.
Four states – Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont – received "A" grades by the March of Dimes. Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi failed with “F.”