Indiana premature birth rate declines

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Indiana has lowered the rate of premature births in the state, reflecting a nationwide decline.

The March of Dimes says Indiana lowered its preterm birth rate to 11.6 percent, down nearly two percentage points from the 13.2 rate reported in 2006.

The organization gave the state a C on its annual report card.

The group says Indiana is one of 40 states that saw improvement in their preterm birth rates between 2010 and 2011.

Nationwide, the largest declines in premature birth occurred among babies born at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. Every racial and ethnic group benefitted.

The March of Dimes attributed the improved rates to an expansion of successful programs and interventions in several states.

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