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March of Dimes Foundation
Premature births in the U.S. hit 15-year low, but still called high
Premature births in the U.S. hit 15-year low, but still called high

The rate of premature births dropped slightly in the United States last year, but the country still has a ways to go before reaching the March of Dimes’ goal of only 9.6% of babies born prematurely. Preliminary figures for 2012 show that 11.5% of births in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico occurred before pregnancies reached 37 weeks of gestation. That’s a 15-year low and the sixth consecutive year of decline, according to the March of Dimes. The nonprofit organization, which focuses on pregnancy and baby health, estimates that about 176,000 fewer babies have been born premature since 2006, when the rate of preterm births peaked at 12.8% nationwide. That...

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