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Oregon retains 'A' grade on low preterm births

Published On: Oct 31 2013 11:34:11 PM CDT
Medicine generic AP

In the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, released Thursday, Oregon maintains an 'A'  with the state's preterm birth remaining at 9.1%.

New this year is the inclusion of racial and ethnic disparities of pre-term birth rates. In Oregon, Blacks have the highest rate at 12.0%, Native Americans have the second highest at 11.9%, Asians third at 10.1%, Hispanics fourth 9.8%, and Whites are the lowest at 8.6%.

"In Oregon and SW Washington, to help women have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies, March of Dimes is supporting group prenatal programs like Centering Pregnancy and others that have shown promising results in reducing preterm births;" said Joanne Rogovoy, State Director of Program Services and Government Affairs for March of Dimes Greater Oregon Chapter, "as well as continuing with hospital efforts to end early elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation."

--Did you know--
*  Since 2006 (when the preterm birth rate in the US was at its highest), 176,000 fewer babies have been born too soon because of reductions in the preterm birth rate, potentially saving about $9 billion in medical and societal costs.

*  The May 2012 global report on preterm birth found that the US ranked 131st out of 184 countries in the world in terms of its preterm birth rate, almost tied with Somalia, Thailand, and Turkey.  

*  There are steps every woman can take to help give her baby a healthy start in life. Women can:
1.  Get a preconception check-up before getting pregnant.
2.  Go to all prenatal care appointments, even when they're feeling fine.
3.  Remember a full-term healthy pregnancy of at least 39 weeks is best for the baby, so if a pregnancy is healthy don't schedule an early delivery.
4.  Talk to their doctor about preterm labor warning signs and their family risk of premature birth.  
5.  Take care of themselves by eating healthy, not smoking, and staying active.

Although preterm birth rates improved in 33 states, the United States again received a "C" on the March of Dimes Report Card.  Six states (Alaska, California, Maine, New Hampshire Oregon, and Vermont) received an A; 19 states earned a B; 17 states, the nation and District of Columbia received a C; five states received a D; three states and Puerto Rico got an F.  The Report Card information for the U.S. and all states is available online at:

In 2013, March of Dimes celebrates its 75th Anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life.  Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive.  Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects.  About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefited the March of Dimes life saving research and education.

March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.  With chapters nationwide, March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  For the latest resources and information, visit or For free access to national, state, county and city-level maternal and infant health data, visit PeriStats, at


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