U.S. Fares Worse Than Other Developed Nations in Preterm Birth Rate — Physician’s First Watch
U.S. Fares Worse Than Other Developed Nations in Preterm Birth Rate
Twelve percent of babies born in the U.S. are born preterm (before 37 weeks' gestation), according to a WHO report released Wednesday. In contrast, rates in most European countries, Canada, and Australia range from 7% to 9%.
The higher rate in the U.S. may be explained, in part, by the large numbers of births among teenagers and women aged 35 and older, as well as a high prevalence of twins and triplets implanted after in vitro fertilization (many of whom are delivered early by cesarean section). The WHO report also notes that obesity, diabetes, and hypertension — all common among American women — increase risk for preterm birth.
Other countries that share the 12% rate include Kenya, Turkey, Thailand, Somalia, and Honduras.