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Nevada earns 'D' grade for premature birth rate

Associated Press Published: November 15, 2012

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A new March of Dimes report card gives Nevada a 'D' for its premature birth rate last year.

The organization reports 13.2 percent of Nevada births were preterm, meaning they happened less than 37 weeks into a pregnancy. That's compared to a national rate of 11.7 percent, and well above the group's national goal of a 9.6 percent rate by 2020.

Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death in the United States. March of Dimes works to ensure more babies are carried to their full term of 39 weeks.

The report is critical of the fact that 28 percent of Nevada women are uninsured. That's up nearly two percentage points from the previous report card.

March of Dimes also seeks to lower Nevada's 21 percent female smoking rate.