Disappointing grade for Conn. in 2016 March of Dimes premature birth report card

(Photo Courtesy: marchofdimes.org)

FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The yearly March of Dimes premature birth report card is in with disappointing news for our state.

A slight setback in the mission of providing a fighting chance for every baby, nationally and in Connecticut.

The March of Dimes downgrading the state in its 2016 premature birth report card.

A grade of C from a B, after an increase rate from 9.2 to 9.4 percent.

It’s the first time in eight years of an upward shift, also reflected nationwide.

As a result, the country overall, getting a C grade as well.

“We are one of seven states in the country that saw an increase in the preterm birth rate,” says OB-GYN Dr. Chistopher Morosky, who works closely with the Connecticut March of Dimes.

“We find that women actually have great access to prenatal care and receive great prenatal care in our state, but that’s not true for all women in all counties and across all ethnic and racial populations.”

The greatest disparities among African-American and Hispanic women.

Still there’s no clear answer as to the rise in the rate of babies born too soon, a complex issue with numerous risk factors.

Jordana Frost is the Connecticut March of Dimes Maternal and Child Health Director.

She says, “We don’t want to be complacent with our progress over the years, this is definitely a call to action.”

A call to action to get community and state partners, along with clinical providers, to figure out what’s behind the concerning trend.

Premature births is the number one killer of babies, with life long health complications for many who survive and their families.

“Prematurity is associated with over 26 billion dollars in avoidable medical expenses and in CT that’s millions of dollars as well,” says Frost, that along with a human cost, “It’s so heartbreaking to be a family affected by premature birth.”

The 2016 report card was broken down by counties.

Litchfield coming in on top with a grade of A – with Hartford at the bottom with a C.

For more information, click here.

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