ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Missouri and Illinois both get “C” grades on the new national March of Dimes 2012 Premature Birth Report Card.

Despite the average grade, local March of Dimes spokesperson Trina Reagan says they’re happy to see a decrease in the premature birth rate in Missouri.

“We’ve gone from 12.1% of babies being born premature to 11.6% of babies being born premature so we have dropped by half of a percentage which is a great improvement in one year,” Reagan said.

“When we look at the data in particular, where we are performing the best is in reducing late pre-term births and what we mean by that is births that are occurring electively between 37 and 39 weeks.”

Illinois, meanwhile, saw its premature birth rate drop only a bit, from 12.2 percent to 12.1 percent.


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