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Newborn and Infant Care

Preterm deliveries

05/21/1998

Question:

What is the incidence of preterm delivery? What is the incidence of preterm mortality?

Answer:

According to statistics cited in Nichols & Zwelling (1997), from 6-13% of all US births are preterm--occur between the 20th-36th weeks of pregnancy. There is quite a disparity by race--about 5.6% of white infants and up to 13% of black infants.

The same source notes that of neonatal (infants under 28 days of age) deaths, 75-90% are related to preterm labor and birth. In 1991, the neonatal mortality rate was 4.5/1000 white neonates and 11.2/1000 black neonates.

Please contact this site again if you would like more detail. For more information you also might go to the web sites of the March of Dimes Infant Health Statistics and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) .

Reference: Nichols, FH & Zwelling, E (1997). Maternal-newborn nursing. Philadelphia: WB Saunders.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati