Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Premature Birth Report Cards

As I'm sure you read yesterday (or this morning, more likely), today is Prematurity Awareness Day, so designated by the March of Dimes. In honor of the day, they released the newest Premature Birth Report Cards. Based on the percentage of pre-term births, of late pre-term births, of uninsured women of childbearing age and of smoking women of childbearing age, each state is given a grade. The national grade is a big, fat "D". Tennessee's grade is an even bigger and fatter "F". In fact, all of the states in the southeast U.S., with the exceptions of North Carolina and Virginia, received F's. (North Carolina and Virginia both scored D's.) That's no good.

Here'e the link to the interactive map. If you click on a state, you will see their full report, including how certain factors contributed to their score. For example, even though in Tennessee the rate of late pre-term births declined, the percentages of uninsured and smoking women went up significantly, so we kept our F. Scroll down further on a state page to read more about the methodology and grading scale.

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