Report Gives W.V. D For Premature Birth Rate

CHARLESTON, W.V. (AP) - A new report on premature births gives W.V. D grade, despite a decline in the state's rate.

The March of Dimes released its annual premature birth report card Tuesday. The grades are based on how far states' rates are from the March of Dimes' 2020 goal of 9.6 percent.

West Virginia's rate in 2009 was 12.9 percent, down from 13.7 percent in 2008.

The national rate was 12.2 percent, which received a C grade.

Two factors that contribute to premature births fell in West Virginia while one increased.

The late pre-term birth rate declined from 10 percent to 9.6 percent. The rate of uninsured women fell from 23.5 percent to 22.6 percent. The rate of pregnant women who smoke increased from 30.7 percent to 33.9 percent.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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