AP NEWS

South Carolina receives a “D” grade for preterm birth rating

November 6, 2018 GMT

According to the 2018 Premature Birth Report Card from March of Dimes, South Carolina received a “D” rating for its high premature birth rate of 11.2 percent.

The data for the study was collected in 2017. In order for the birth to be premature, infants must be born before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Premature births can result in numerous health problems that are detrimental to infant health. This medical issue, and the complications that come with it, is the number one cause of death in children under a year old in the United States, according to a press release from March of Dimes.

The report also states premature birth is the leading cause of infant death worldwide.

“While there is no single cause of preterm birth, research shows that chronic inequities and unequal access to quality health care do have a negative impact on these rates,” the press release reads.

Racial disparities and access to quality health care were noted to have a strong effect on preterm births in the report. Women of color were found to be 50 percent more likely than white women to deliver prematurely and as a result, their children can be up to 130 percent more likely to face fatalities.

Overall, the United States received a “C” grade for its preterm birth rating. According to the study, this rating has steadily worsened over the part three years.

“We must all come together to take concrete, commonsense steps to reverse this alarming trend,” says Stacey D. Stewart, president of March of Dimes, in a press release. “Our country’s most important resource is human potential. That begins with ensuring every baby has the healthiest possible start in life, regardless of racial and ethnic background or their family’s income...Birth equity is our goal; it can be reached.”

To learn more about the Premature Birth Report Cards created by March of Dimes, visit marchofdimes.org.