The March of Dimes set a goal for the year 2020 that just 8-percent of babies will be born early. But that goal now seems harder to reach.
For the first time in nearly a decade, premature births went up in this country last year, to just under 10-percent.
Rates are even higher among African American and Native Americans.
Prematurity, being born before 37 weeks gestation, is the leading cause of infant death, and leads to dozens of complications.
Some doctors believe a rising rate of smoking during pregnancy could be a big factor.
On the March of Dimes report card, Montgomery County earned a B-grade, the best in our region, while Philadelphia got a D, the worst.
Number of premature births rise in 2015
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