March of Dimes gives Hawaii’s record on premature births a near-failing grade

March of Dimes gives Hawaii’s record on premature births a near-failing grade
(Image: March of Dimes/Facebook)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One in 10 Hawaii babies are born too early, a statistic that’s remained near-constant for the last decade despite efforts to bolster women’s health.

The 2018 Premature Birth Report Card from the March of Dimes gave Hawaii a "D" for its record on the issue.

The preterm birth rate in the islands: 10.4 percent.

It was even higher on Oahu (10.6 percent) and the Big Island (10.9 percent). And it’s remained constant for more than a decade. In 2007, the rate was 10.6 percent.

Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributor to death in the first year of life in the United States, according to the March of Dimes, and the leading cause of death of children under age 5 worldwide.

Nationally, the preterm birth rate in 2017 was 9.9 percent. That’s up from 9.85 percent the year before.

In the report, only one state got an "A" — Vermont.

Fifteen states got a “B,” meanwhile their preterm birth rate is less than 9.2 percent, while 16 states got a “C.”

Hawaii was among 14 states to earn a “D." The four failing states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

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