Alabama earned an F on a March of Dimes report card ranking states on the number of babies born prematurely. The nonprofit group said Alabama had a preterm-birth rate of 16.7% in 2005, according to the most recent data available. That’s compared to 12.7% nationally, which was also a D grade. No state earned an A on the report card released last month. To earn that grade, the March of Dimes said a state would need a 7.6% premature-birth rate or lower. Maternal smoking and lack of health insurance were cited as the two largest contributors to preterm births. The March of Dimes works to prevent birth defects, premature births and infant mortality. We need to work hard to do a better job in this area of concern.
Source: Associated Press
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