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Preterm birth rate up 12 percent since 2014: CDC

Story at a glance


  • The rate of preterm births in the United States is rising, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


  • Preterm births are those that occur before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed.


  • Preterm births accounted for 8.67 percent of births in 2022, according to the report.


The rate of preterm births in the United States is going up, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The country’s preterm birth rate increased by 12 percent between 2014 and 2022, pushing it to 8.67 percent of births, according to the CDC’s National Vitals Statics Report.

Preterm births, or those that occur before 37 weeks of pregnancy, put babies at risk of developing health problems like anemia, apnea and infections, according to the nonprofit organization March of Dimes.

Babies born before 37 are also at a higher risk of having learning disabilities and chronic health issues later in life, according to the Mayo Clinic.

According to the report, the preterm birth rate rose about 2 percent each year between 2014 and 2019, and then fluctuated until 2022. The preterm birth rate dropped by 1 percent in 2020 and increased by 4 percent in 2021 before dropping by 1 percent again the following year, the report states.

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