Health Consequences of Preterm Birth

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal deaths and the most common reason for antenatal hospitalization.1 Preterm birth is responsible for 36% of all infant deaths — more than any other cause. Approximately 25–50% of long-term neurological impairment cases in children result from preterm birth.1

Preterm birth rates

Since reaching a historical peak of 12.8% in 2006, preterm birth rates declined year over year to 9.57% as of 2014.2 It increased slightly from 2014 to a rate of 9.63% in 2015.2 It remains above 11% in Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana and West Virginia and higher than 13% in Mississippi.2


  1. ACOG. Practice Bulletin No. 171: Management of Preterm Labor. Obstet Gynecol. 2016;128(4):e155-64. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001711.
  2. Martin JA, et al. Births: Final Data for 2015. National Vital Statistics Report Vol. 66, No. 1. Hyattsville, MD: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2017.


NIH Study

The role of fetal fibronectin in preterm birth

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