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The 'March of Dimes' Releases Its '2013 Premature Birth Report Card'


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(OPEN):
THE U-S PRETERM-BIRTH RATE HAS DROPPED, FOR THE SIXTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, IN 2012--TO 11-AND-A-HALF-PERCENT, THE LOWEST IN 15 YEARS.  THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE MARCH OF DIMES' JUST-RELEASED "2013 PREMATURE BIRTH REPORT CARD".  SIX STATES--ALASKA, CALIFORNIA, MAINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, OREGON, AND VERMONT--EARNED AN "A" IN THE REPORT, AS THEIR PRETERM-BIRTH RATES MET THE MARCH OF DIMES' GOAL.  HOWEVER, EVEN THOUGH THE NATIONAL PRETERM-BIRTH RATE IMPROVED, IT AGAIN EARNED A "C" ON THE "REPORT CARD".  DOCTOR JENNIFER HOWSE [LIKE "HOUSE"] IS THE MARCH OF DIMES' PRESIDENT...

(HOWSE):
"
ALTHOUGH WE'VE MADE GREAT PROGRESS, IN REDUCING OUR NATION'S PRETERM-BIRTH RATE FROM HISTORIC HIGHS, THE U-S STILL HAS THE HIGHEST RATE OF PRETERM-BIRTH OF ANY INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY.  A PREMATURE BIRTH COSTS BUSINESSES ABOUT 12 TIMES AS MUCH AS AN UNCOMPLICATED, HEALTHY BIRTH.  AS A RESULT, PREMATURE BIRTH IS A MAJOR DRIVER OF HEALTH-INSURANCE COSTS FOR EMPLOYERS.  WE MUST CONTINUE TO INVEST IN PRETERM-BIRTH PREVENTION--TO ASSURE [THAT] EVERY BABY HAS A HEALTHY START."

(CLOSE):
SEE HOW YOUR STATE DID, BY VISITING "MARCH-OF-DIMES"-DOT-COM-SLASH-"REPORT-CARD".



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