WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., DECEMBER 5, 2007 – The preterm birth rate rose again in 2005 and preliminary data for 2006 show a continued increase
The preterm birth rate has increased more than 20 percent since 1990. The data can be found at www.cdc.gov/nchs
Prematurity is the leading cause of death in the first month of life, and even late preterm infants have a greater risk of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), feeding difficulties, temperature instability (hypothermia), jaundice and delayed brain development.
In 2005, preterm birth costs the nation more than $26.2 billion in medical and educational costs and lost productivity. Average first year medical costs were about 10 times greater for preterm than for term infants.