Premature birth rate improves in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – Louisiana saw its premature birth rates improve last year, but still received a failing grade from the March of Dimes.
The organization’s annual report card for pre-term birth rates gave Louisiana an “F” for its pre-term birth rate of 15.4 percent, which is an improvement over last year’s 16.6 percent. The state was also ranked 49th in the nation for its premature birth rate.
The results were announced by local March of Dimes representatives at a rally this morning on the steps of the State Capitol, who also announced a new initiative with DHH to help lower pre-term births in the state.
Overall, the U. S. received a “D” grade on the report, and saw its premature birth rate drop from 12.7 to 12.3 percent.
"Our country has one of the highest rates of preterm birth in the world," said U. S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin after the report was released. "We have to do better."
In the United States more than half a million babies are born preterm each year, which costs the United States more than $26 billion annually according to the Institute of Medicine.