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State ahead of nation in reducing premature births


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin is doing better than the nation as a whole in reducing its premature births.

The March of Dimes said 10.4 percent of all live births in Wisconsin last year came with less than a full 37 weeks of gestation. That’s down from by one percentage point from 2006.

But it’s still 0.8 percent higher than the goal set by the March of Dimes for reducing the state’s premature birth rate to below double-digits by 2020.

All told, the group gave Wisconsin a grade of “B” for its efforts. That’s higher than the national grade of “C” given by the March of Dimes – even though pre-term births across the U.S. dropped for the fifth straight year.

The group says thousands of more infants are getting a healthy start in life – and billions in health and social costs are being saved.

But the March of Dimes says more can be done. It said the premature birth rate of uninsured women went up by more than a percentage point last year, to over 11 percent.

The March of Dimes said state officials should expand insurance coverage for women of child-bearing age – and employers should create workplaces that, “support maternal and infant health.”