The Health Day Reporter posted an article today citing statistics from the report: Born A Bit Too Early: Recent Trends in Late Preterm Births, issued by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, stating that “The percentage of babies born preterm in the United States rose by more than 20 percent from 1990 to 2006, most delivered at the end of the preterm period, federal health officials report.”
The Bulletin of the World Health Organization published a white paper on Oct. 4th 2009, addressing the concerns of the increase in preterm births worldwide. According to the paper, over ONE MILLION babies die each year from causes related to preterm birth.
Preterm birth is defined as a baby born before 37 weeks gestation. In the United States alone, the cost of caring for preterm babies and their associated health problems tops $26 billion annually. Second only to Africa, North America (US and Canada) has the highest instance of preterm births in the world!