GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The organization dedicated to caring for premature babies and lowering the number of early births has taken each state to task.
Based on numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics, Connecticut earned a solid “B” grade in the March of Dimes’ 2015 Premature Birth Report Card. The state had a 9.2 percent premature birth rate throughout 2014, which is beneath the national rate of 9.6 percent. As a result, the state met the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 early.
However, certain communities in Connecticut are trailing behind the state’s rate. Hartford, Stamford, Bridgeport, and Waterbury had higher rates than the statewide rate. However, New Haven’s premature rate is lower than the state rate at 9.1 percent.
March of Dimes officials say worldwide 15 million babies are born early and nearly one million die as a result of the early birth and related complications. Those babies who do survive can face serious health issues throughout their lives ranging from breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy, and intellectual delays.
Officials say new programs and policies from state and local health departments, hospitals, and health care providers has helped lower the early birth rate over the years. The organization says they’re working with researchers to find new medical advances to prevent premature births.