Preterm birth is defined as a live birth before 37 completed weeks gestation. Some other classifications of preterm births include late preterm (34-36 weeks), moderately preterm (32-36 weeks) and very preterm (<32 weeks). These classifications are useful because they often correspond to clinical characteristics - increasing morbidities or illnesses with decreasing gestational age. Babies born too soon are often born too small. While the causes of preterm birth and low birthweight may be different in some cases, there is significant overlap within these populations of infants.
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In 2021, 1 in 10 babies (9.6% of live births) was born preterm in North Dakota.
The rate of preterm birth in North Dakota is highest for American Indian/Alaska Native infants (14.0%), followed by blacks (9.8%), Asian/Pacific Islanders (9.7%), Hispanics (9.4%) and Whites (9.0%).
Compared with singleton births (one baby), multiple births in North Dakota were about 8 times as likely to be preterm in 2021.
Notes: Late preterm is between 34 and 36 weeks gestation.
Sources: National Center for Health Statistics, final natality data. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from www.marchofdimes.org/peristats.
In 2021, there were 714 late preterm births in North Dakota, representing 7.1% of live births.