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Preterm and low weight births rise again in the US

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3311 (Published 07 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3311
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

The number of preterm births, the leading cause of death for newborn babies in the US, has risen for the second year after declines over the past seven years. The low birth weight rate also increased for the second year, according to the annual report from the National Center for Health Statistics.1

US preterm birth rates rose from 9.63% in 2015 to 9.84% in 2016. The low birth weight rate increased from 8.07% in 2015 to 8.16% in 2016. Both rates had declined between 2007 and 2014.

Proposed cuts to Medicaid, which pays for about half of all US births,2 would mean that 6.5 million women of childbearing age would lose health insurance …

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