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QuickStats: Percentage of Total Births That Were Preterm,* by Gestational Age --- United States, 1990 and 2005

* Includes births in single deliveries only. Preterm births are those occurring at <37 completed weeks of gestation.

The proportion of total births that were preterm increased from 9.7% in 1990 to 11.0% in 2005. Most of the increase was among births occurring at 34--36 weeks (i.e., late preterm), which increased from 6.8% to 8.1%. Although late preterm infants are at lower risk for mortality and long-term morbidity than other preterm infants, they are at higher risk than those born later in pregnancy.

SOURCE: National Vital Statistics System. Preliminary birth data for 2005. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/prelimbirths05/prelimbirths05.htm.



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