California’s Premature Birth Rate Fell to 9.8% in 2011, Report Finds
Report Card Details
The report card examined states' progress in achieving the March of Dimes' goal of having a 9.6% premature birth rate by 2020.
The organization determined the 9.6% goal by using published studies to estimate the maximum achievable benefits of using known strategies -- such as smoking cessation -- to prevent preterm births (March of Dimes report, 2/1).
The report card gave California a "B" grade based on its 2011 premature birth rate (HealthyCal, 2/1).
According to the report card, California had a premature birth rate of 9.8% in 2011, compared with a rate of 9.9% in 2010.
The report card also found that in California, there was a:
- 25.3% premature birth rate among uninsured women;
- 10.4% premature birth rate among women who smoke; and a
- 7.1% rate of late preterm births, which occur between the 34th and 36th weeks of pregnancyÂ (March of Dimes report, 2/1).
States With Lower Premature Birth Rates
According to the report card, only four states had lower premature birth rates than California in 2011:
- New Hampshire;
- Oregon; and
- Vermont (HealthyCal, 2/1).