NewsOK Health Blog


Fewer Oklahoma babies born premature

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: November 4, 2013

And now, for some good news.

Oklahoma has seen a decrease in the percentage of babies born premature, according to the state Health Department:

Oklahoma has lowered its preterm birth rate for the third year in a row, giving more babies a healthy start in life and contributing to a national six-year improvement trend, according to the March of Dimes 2013 Preterm Birth Report Card.

Oklahoma lowered its overall preterm birth rate from 13.2 percent in 2012 to 13.0 percent in 2013, barely missing a grade of “C,” thus receiving the same grade of “D” for another year. The goal set by the March of Dimes for all states is a preterm birthrate of 9.6 percent.

The U.S. received a “C” on the March of Dimes 2013 Premature Birth Report Card.  Grades are based on comparing each state’s and the nation’s 2012 preliminary preterm birth rates with the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 percent of all live births. The U.S. preterm birth rate is 11.5 percent, a decline of 10 percent from the peak of 12.8 percent in 2006. The 2013 Premature Birth Report Card information for the U.S. and states is available at:

Oklahoma is one of five states to receive a “D.” Three other states — Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama — and Puerto Rico received “F” grades:

You can read the Oklahoma specific report here. With 1 in 9 babies born too soon, the United States has a preterm birth rate higher than that of most developed nations, according to the March of Dimes.

To learn more about Oklahoma’s efforts to improve health outcomes for babies born in the state, visit this link.

And if you want to share this information with your lawmaker, you can find their contact information by using this form.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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