Ohio has continued to make modest improvements in reducing the number of babies born prematurely, according to an annual report from the March of Dimes (Source: "Ohio improves slightly in premature births; gets C grade on March of Dimes 2012 report card," Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nov. 12, 2012).
The 2012 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, released last week, gave Ohio a grade of C for the second straight year, the same as the national average. However, Ohio lowered its percentage of premature births from 12.3 percent to 12 percent. That percentage ties with Michigan for 30th in the nation.
"The results in Ohio are quite exciting," said Dr. Brian Mercer, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, and director of both the divisions of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics at MetroHealth Medical Center. "The [12 percent] rate is well below our peak of 13.3 percent in 2006."
The report card gave As to four states (Oregon, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) and a B to 21 states. Three states (Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi) were given a grade of F.