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CDC Reports a Significant Increase in Preterm Births: Exploring the Impact of Covid-19 and Other Factors

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Medriva Correspondents
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CDC Reports a Significant Increase in Preterm Births: Exploring the Impact of Covid-19 and Other Factors

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The Rising Trend of Preterm Births in the U.S.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently reported a significant increase in the rate of preterm or early delivery in the United States. This rise, reaching a concerning 12%, was observed between 2014 and 2022. Over 1 in 12 babies are now being delivered prematurely, highlighting a pressing issue in maternal and infant health.

Disparities in Preterm Birth Rates

The study highlights racial and age disparities in the increased numbers of preterm births. Black and Hispanic communities face higher rates of preterm births compared to their White counterparts. Specifically, preterm birth rates were consistently higher for Black mothers throughout the study period. Furthermore, individuals over the age of 40 faced a higher likelihood of experiencing preterm birth, indicating that advanced maternal age is a risk factor.

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Impact of Economic and Racial Disparities

Notably, the CDC acknowledges that economic and racial disparities also play a significant role in this trend. These disparities often hinder the access to appropriate care for pregnant individuals, potentially resulting in early births. The impact of these disparities on maternal health is a critical area for further research and policy development.

The Role of Health Conditions and the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Various factors contribute to the increase in preterm births, including existing health conditions, advanced maternal age, and, notably, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant women. The pandemic has not only increased the stress levels of expecting mothers but may have also caused gaps in prenatal care due to restrictions and fears of virus exposure.

Consequences of Preterm Births

Infants born preterm are at the greatest risk of morbidity and mortality, making this a significant public health issue. The rise in preterm births also has significant developmental implications for babies, including potential behavioral and developmental delays, and vision and hearing impairments. This underscores the need for strategies to ensure appropriate prenatal care and support for pregnant individuals, particularly during challenging times such as the current pandemic.

Need for Further Research and Intervention

The rising trend of preterm births in the United States underscores the urgent need for further research and intervention strategies. Addressing the root causes, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and socioeconomic and racial disparities, is crucial. Innovative solutions, such as the use of wearable technology to track changes that can lead to preterm birth, are being explored and offer promising avenues for early detection and intervention.

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