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Study: Reducing America's Premature Births, Part 1

The United States may be one of the better places in the world in which to have a baby - but there is still a lot of room for improvement. One new study looked at premature births as one of the leading causes of birthing injuries and complications and made five big suggestions to lower the rate of these births.

In recognition of World Prematurity Day on November 17, our posts this week will cover this big issue for mothers around the globe and here in Ohio. Premature births can cause numerous complications, putting babies at heightened risk for conditions like cerebral palsy and respiratory distress syndrome.

Because of these dangers, it is important for medical staff to help as many mothers as possible bring their babies to full gestation before delivery. Since more than 500,000 babies are born premature in the United States every year, doctors can help close a big gap to promote healthier deliveries.

This new study looked at the five biggest ways to help reduce premature births and concluded that the United States could achieve an 8 percent reduction just by focusing on those steps. In addition to saving around $1.5 billion annually in economic and healthcare costs, this reduction would represent around 40,000 safer pregnancies.

Check back later this week for the study's five recommendations.

Source: US News & World Report, "5 Steps Would Lower Preemie Rates in Richest Countries: Study," Nov. 16, 2012 

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