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.
Data SourcesOffice of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health.
DefinitionMost 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
Page Content Updated On 09/25/2008, Published on 07/14/2011