SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - This year Georgia got a failing grade with a preterm birth rate of 13.4 percent, according to the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card.
The nationwide grade was a D with a premature birth rate of 12.3 percent down from 12.7 a year ago. Last year Georgia got a grade of F, with a pre-term birth rate of 13.9 percent.
In 2008, the U.S. saw the first two-year decline in the preterm birth rate, for the first time after three decades of increases. The 2008 preliminary preterm birth rate dropped to 12.3 percent, from the 2006 final rate of 12.8 percent.
The March of Dimes believes the two-year decline is the beginning of a trend. Better health care, new research and adoption of intervention programs to lower the risk of preterm birth as the U.S. has a high rate of preterm birth, according to the organization.
View premature birth rates by state and grades for this year and last online at http://media.dssimon.com/mod10.