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Preterm birth rate in the US is rising, study finds, but the reasons are a mystery

·1 min

The rate of preterm births in the United States has been rising, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The report found that the rate of preterm births rose 12% between 2014 and 2022, from 7.74% to 8.67%. The increase was consistent across age and race, with Black and Hispanic mothers slightly more likely to give birth early. Preterm babies can face short-term and long-term health issues, while pregnant people can also develop health problems if they deliver early. The reasons behind the trend are still largely unknown, but factors such as advanced maternal age, IVF, environmental factors like particle pollution, and psychosocial stressors may play a role. The rising rate of preterm births may also be influenced by the increasing prevalence of obesity in the population. The Covid-19 pandemic may have had an impact as well, with infected individuals facing a higher risk of early delivery. To reduce the likelihood of early birth, prioritizing health before pregnancy is crucial.