MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Edward R. B. McCabe, MD, PhD
Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Professor Adjunct of Pediatrics
Yale University School of Medicine
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics & Inaugural Mattel Executive Endowed Chair of Pediatrics, UCLA School of Medicine
Inaugural Physician-in-Chief, Mattel Children’s Hospital
Chief Medical Officer March of Dimes
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. McCabe: The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign was launched in 2003. The goal of the campaign is to lower the rate of premature birth to 8.1 percent of live births by 2020 and to 5.5 percent by 2030.
Premature birth is the leading cause of death for newborns, and a major cause of childhood disabilities. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born preterm, and nearly one million die due to complications of an early birth. The U.S. preterm birth rate ranks among the worst of high-resource nations. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.
The US earned a “C” on the 8th annual March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card which revealed persistent racial, ethnic and geographic disparities within states. The report card provided preterm rates and grades for each state and the largest cities. The report card showed that although some progress is being made in reducing preterm births, not all families are sharing in the success.
State specific information is available at marchofdimes.org/reportcard
Portland, Oregon has the best preterm birth rate of the top 100 cities with the most births nationwide, while Shreveport, Louisiana has the worst, according to the 2015 Report Card. The U.S. preterm birth rate was 9.6 percent in 2014. The report card shows more than 380,000 babies were born too soon last year.