Pre-term births (single year data) in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Babies born before 37 weeks are more likely to have health problems and often need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born later. There can be a greater likelihood of intellectual delays and behavioral health issues such as ADHD or Autism and neurological issues such as cerebral palsy. Finding and treating health problems as early as possible — and preventing premature birth overall — can help babies lead longer, healthier lives. March of Dimes- on preventing preterm births

What the Data Shows
Approximately 9.9 percent of all births in the US 2017 were premature compared to 8.5% in Maine. In United States, the preterm birth rate among black women is 49% higher than the rate among all other women.Preterm Births in US (March of Dimes)  

In Maine, the percent of preterm births has been on an upward trend since 2012. This trend of recent increases, despite a long period of decline mirrors national data.  Of the preterm babies born in Maine, 22% are twins, triplets or multiples.

For 2018, the counties with the highest rate of preterm births as a percentage of all births were: Piscataquis (11.5%), Washington (10.8%) and Franklin (10.2%) while the counties with the lowest rate of preterm births were: Lincoln and Waldo Counties, both at 6.6%.                


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Definitions: The number and percent of live births in which the newborn was born at less than 37 weeks gestation.
The numerator is the number of live births with 37 or less weeks of gestation and the denominator is all live births.

Data Source: Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics.

Footnotes: Footnotes: NA=Not available, * means the numbers are suppressed due to low numbers.
State-level data available back to 1990.  County-level data not available for all years prior to 2009.
Note that the state totals include any preterm births where the county is not known.

Last uploaded: October 2019.