March of Dimes data: 12.5% of Alabama babies born prematurely

Published 5:25 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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For more than a decade, the percentage of Alabama babies born prematurely has held steady – hovering between 11.7-12.9 percent.

For 2018, according to the March of Dimes, that number was 12.5 percent, giving the state a prematurity grade of an F. There were 7,204 preterm births.

When looking in terms of ethnicity and race, those identifying as Hispanic had the least amount of preterm live births for 2015-2017, at 9.5 percent.

Those identifying as white has 10.4 percent of live births at pre-term; Asian Pacific Islander, at 10.5 percent and those identifying as black were at 15.5 percent.

According to the March of Dimes, in Alabama, the preterm birth rate among black women is 50 percent higher than the rate among all other women.
Data from the March of Dimes shows that the average cost of a preterm birth is $60,000.

That includes the estimated societal cost per preterm birth includes medical care for premature children, maternal delivery costs, early intervention services, special education services and lost productivity. State estimates reflect 2016 adjustments to underlying national estimates developed in 2005 (see technical notes for additional details). Adjustments per state include birth and infant mortality rate and incidence by gestational age, service bundle composition and costs and cost inflation.

In Covington County the average for 2014-2017 was 11.8 percent.