Connecticut lowered its preterm birth rate between 2010 and 2011 to 10.1 percent, which reflects a five-year national improvement trend, according to a release sent by the March of Dimes. The organization, however, gave the state another "B" on its 2012 Report Card because the rate wasn't lowered enough.
"Connecticut’s progress means that more babies are being born healthy, excess health care costs are being reduced, and families are being spared the heartache of having a baby born too soon," said Michael Botelho, Chair of the Connecticut Chapter Board of Directors.
Forty states, including Connecticut, saw improvement in their preterm birth rates between 2010 and 2011. On the 2012 Report Card, 16 states got a better grade. Nationwide, the largest declines in preterm birth occurred among babies born at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy, but the improvement was across the board. Nationally, every racial and ethnic group benefitted, and the preterm birth rates for babies born at all stages of pregnancy improved.
According to the organization, the rate of late preterm births in Connecticut is 7 percent, the rate of women smoking is 18.4 percent and the rate of uninsured women is 13.9 percent.
The United States again received a “C” on the March of Dimes Report Card. Grades are based on comparing each state’s and the nation’s 2011 preliminary preterm birth rates with the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 percent of all live births. The U.S. preterm birth rate is 11.7 percent, a decline of more than 8 percent from the peak of 12.8 percent in 2006.