Prematurity in New York State:
A premature birth is any birth that occurs before 37 weeks gestation. In 2006, 1 in 8 babies (12.4% of live births) were born preterm in New York. Between 1996 and 2006, the rate of infants born preterm in New York increased nearly 16%. The rate of preterm birth in New York is highest for black infants (16.7%), followed by Native Americans (12.9%), Hispanics (12.7%), whites (10.6%) and Asians (10.0%). The number of late pre-term births in 2006, any birth that occurs between 34 - 36 weeks gestation, was 21,458, representing 8.6% of live births. The increase in premature birth rates in recent years is primarily associated with the rise in late-preterm births and has increased 25% since 1990 and account for 70% of all preterm births.
In 2019, 9.2% are pre-term. The rate of preterm birth in New York is highest for black infants (13.2% in 2019), followed by Hispanics (10.1%), other races (8.9%) and whites (7.6%).
Being Born Prematurely Is a Significant Threat To An Infant's Health:
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of all infant deaths in 2002 were linked to prematurity. Premature infants are at increased risk for mental retardation, vision and hearing impairment, chronic respiratory disease and other developmental problems.
Prematurity Is a Serious Financial And Emotional Burden:
In 2005, the annual societal economic cost (medical, educational and lost productivity) associated with preterm birth in the United States was at least $26.2 billion. Over the course of the first year, direct employer health costs (including visits to the doctor, drug costs, and hospital stays) are 15 times greater for a premature infant than a healthy, full-term infant.
Equal Access to Preventive Care Is Vital:
Specialized care includes screening tests, immunizations and preventive treatments that can help protect and reduce the incidence of serious infections. A premature infant's access to preventive care should not depend on factors such as a family's income, a preemie's age at birth, or residency. Instead, an appropriate course of treatment should be based on a doctor's experience, discretion and clinical data.