U.S. premature births decline despite racial disparities

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The overall rate of premature birth in the US declined for the first time in six years between 2019 and 2020, while premature births increased among Black Americans and Native Americans or Alaska Natives. report good Published Monday by the non-profit March of Dimes.

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why it matters: According to the US, one tenth of births in 2020 were premature Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, These babies are more likely to face health risks, such as breathing problems, difficulty feeding, and vision and hearing problems.

big picture: According to the report, the national preterm birth rate fell from 10.2% in 2019 to 10.1% in 2020.

  • But the increase in Black and Native American and Alaska Native women means these women are 60% more likely to give birth prematurely than white women, the report said.
  • This disparity is echoed in the latest data on infant mortality, “Black and American Indian/Alaska Native children are twice as likely to die before their first birthday as white children.”

What are they saying: “I think it’s really important to understand that around the issue of premature birth, we still have important issues around health and equity, and we still have a lot of women who are more premature than others. are more likely to give birth earlier,” says Stacey D. Stewart March of Dimes President and CEO said, “good Morning America,

  • “So we don’t really see this report card as a reason to celebrate.”


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