OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports a decline in the rate of premature births in the state — but the state still received a grade of "D'' on the March of Dimes 2013 Premature Birth Report Card.
The Health Department says premature births in the state fell from 13.2 percent in 2012 to 13 percent in 2013. The national rate is 11.5 percent.
The March of Dimes' goal is to reduce the preterm birth rate to 9.6 percent.
Premature birth is considered to be birth before 37 full weeks of pregnancy and is the leading cause of newborn deaths.