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March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center launches new PeriStats web site!


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., AUGUST 17, 2004 - The March of Dimes announced today that it has released a complete redesign of its popular PeriStats Web site, offering the most current and detailed maternal and infant health statistics available in the United States. Funding was provided by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health through a 2-year grant collaboration with the New York Academy of Medicine.

The new PeriStats Web site offers state-specific perinatal data, including detailed data for the largest cities and counties in the United States, and is available free of charge at Founded on research aimed to understand how different audiences use health-related data, the new PeriStats system was designed to compile vast amounts of information, and make it useful and accessible for health professionals, researchers and the news media. Despite the large volume of information, all data is available within two clicks of any Web page.

"The March of Dimes has a long history of supporting health professionals and researchers, and the new PeriStats Web site expands our capacity to provide this audience with tools to guide maternal and infant health research and policy in the United States," said March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse.

Aggregating maternal and infant health data from 11 government agencies and organizations, PeriStats provides access to statistics on topics such as preterm birth, infant mortality, tobacco use, cesarean section rates, and health insurance coverage. Detailed information by race, ethnicity, maternal age and plurality is available, and users can make data comparisons between states, counties, and cities and to the United States. In addition to graphs, maps, and tables, the Web site provides state summaries of maternal and infant health indicators, and the graphs are coupled with concise bulleted facts that describe data. The Web site is especially useful for fact-finding, regional health assessments, grant writing, policy development, lectures and presentations.

Through the grant, the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center and The New York Academy of Medicine will incorporate relevant biomedical literature searches into PeriStats, and will also provide data training for health professionals and medical librarians. Future Web site releases will include additional maternal and infant health data from U.S. government agencies and organizations.

The New York Academy of Medicine ( is a non-profit institution founded in 1847 that is dedicated to enhancing the health of the public through research, education and advocacy, with a particular focus on urban populations, especially the disadvantaged.

Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Library of Medicine (, the world's largest library of the health sciences, is a component of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a five-year campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Spanish Web site at or its English website at


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