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Indicator Report - Very Preterm Birth

Why Is This Important?

Premature birth is a serious health problem. Premature babies are at an increased risk for newborn health complications, as well as lasting disabilities such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, lung and gastrointestinal problems, vision and hearing loss, and even death.

Poor reproductive health and birth outcomes are dependent on a variety of different factors. Some of these factors are well known while many others have not been identified or are less clear. Some known risk factors for having poor reproductive health and birth outcomes are pregnancy history, exposures to infections, use of medicines and exposure to chemicals in the environment, alcohol or drug use, poor medical care, chronic health problems, and smoking as well as socioeconomic factors.

Percentage of Live Born Infants Very Preterm by Year, Utah, 1989-2006

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Data Sources

Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health.

Other Views


Most pregnancies last around 40 weeks. Babies born between 37 and 42 completed weeks of pregnancy are called full term. Babies born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy are called premature. And babies born between 22 and 32 weeks of pregnancy are called very premature. About 12.5 percent of babies (more than half a million a year) in the United States are born prematurely. For reasons that doctors don't fully understand, the rate of premature birth has increased by more than 30 percent since 1981.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: Number of live infant births occurring before 32 weeks of gestation during a specific time period.
Denominator: Total number of live infant births during a specific time period.

Page Content Updated On 09/25/2008, Published on 07/14/2011
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 05 July 2015 16:32:36 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:09:20 MST