Portland Has Lowest Preterm Birth Rate In Nation

Portland has the lowest rate of preterm births of any city in the nation — according to a new study by The March of Dimes.

After decades of increases, the rate of premature birth in the U.S. is now declining. But not fast enough, according to the charity March of Dimes.  So it graded 100 cities on their rates.

At 7.2 percent, Portland's rate was much lower than anywhere else. Nationally, about 9.6 percent of births are preterm.

Aaron Caughey, the chair of the department of obstetrics at OHSU, said: "One of the reasons why we can do things here in Oregon that might be harder in other states, is there’s a willingness to work together with disregard of our own personal agenda, our own personal egos, to the best outcomes for the women that we care for.”

Babies born before 37 weeks can suffer from short-term breathing and heart problems, as well as long-term complications like cerebral palsy and poor vision.

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