State's pre-term birth rate up slightly - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

State's pre-term birth rate up slightly


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Thirty-three states experienced a drop in the number of premature births last year. But, Minnesota was not among them.

A report from the March of Dimes says Minnesota's pre-term birth rate climbed from 9.9 percent in 2011 to 10.2 percent in 2012, despite efforts to make sure all pregnant mothers receive proper care.

The March of Dimes report says babies born too early are at risk for lifelong health problems and premature death. The organization tracks births that occur before the 37th week of gestation.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports Twin Cities March of Dimes officials say they hope the increase is just a blip. They point out that Minnesota has fewer premature births than most states, and campaigns to further lower the rate are ongoing.

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