HW: March of Dimes gives state ‘D’ on premature birth rate

The March of Dimes has given Colorado a “D” grade for its premature birth rate.

The state’s premature birth rate is 12.3 percent. A projected goal of 7.6 percent is set forward by the U.S. Public Health Service in its Healthy People 2010 report.

The 12.3 percent rate is from 2003 to 2005 data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reflects the number of Colorado women who gave birth to live babies after fewer than 37 weeks of gestation.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month.

The nation had a premature birth rate of 12.7 percent, and also received a “D” from March of Dimes, a national nonprofit dedicated to infant and maternal health.

Mesa County had a premature birth rate of 10.7 percent, according to the report.

In addition to providing state rankings, the March of Dimes issued rates of preventable factors that potentially contribute to premature births.

In Colorado, 19.8 percent of women of childbearing age (18 to 44) smoke and 21 percent do not have health insurance, according to CDC 2007 data and from the U.S. Census Bureau, respectively.

The March of Dimes deemed smoking and no insurance as potentially “preventable factors” in premature births.

For more information on the March of Dime’s premature births report card, visit http://www.march ofdimes.com.


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