March of Dimes Gives West Virginia D for Premature Births

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The March of Dimes gives West Virginia low marks for preventing premature births.

West Virginia earned a D on the 2015 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. The report card compares the state’s preterm birth rate with the March of Dimes’ goal of 8.1 percent by 2020.

In 2014, West Virginia’s rate was 10.8 percent, up from 10.5 percent the previous year.

The March of Dimes said Wednesday in a news release that three counties’ 2013 preterm birth rates were worse than the statewide rate. Kanawha County’s rate of 14.1 percent was the highest in the state, followed by Cabell County at 13.7 percent and Wood County at 12.6 percent.

West Virginia was ranked 35th on a disparity index that measures the gaps between racial and ethnic groups.