Premature births worsen US infant death rate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Premature births worsen US infant death rate

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ATLANTA (KWWL) - A government report says the United States ranks 30th in the world in infant mortality, mainly because of premature births.

Babies born before 37 weeks tend to be more fragile and have underdeveloped lungs.

About 1 in 8 U.S. births are premature, a higher rate than in most European countries. In Ireland and Finland, only 1 in 18 babies are premature.

But the report found that survival rates of premature babies in the U.S. are as good as or better than in most European countries.

Experts say reasons for premature births include poor access to prenatal care, maternal obesity and smoking, as well as too-early cesarean sections, induced labor and fertility treatments.

Online News Director Nate Leding

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