Africa and North America have highest rates of preterm births

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 05 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c85
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

    Africa and North America have the highest rates of preterm births, the World Health Organization has found in a global overview.

    The report’s authors estimate that in 2005 12.9 million births, or 9.6% of all births worldwide, were preterm, defined as occurring at less than 37 weeks of gestation (Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2010;88:31-8, doi:10.2471/BLT.08.062554). About 11 million (85%) of these preterm births were in Africa and Asia, while about 0.5 million occurred in each of Europe and North America (excluding Mexico) and …

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