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Louisiana, Mississippi Top List of States for Preterm Births

Louisiana and Mississippi are at the top of states when it comes to preterm births. / The Times-Picayune says a recent report from the March of Dimes gave Louisiana an 'F' rating and the second-highest preterm birth rate in the country. Mississippi was the only state that ranked lower.

The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that advocates for maternal and infant health. Births that happen before 37 weeks of gestation are considered preterm.

The report says that complications resulting from premature births are the largest contributor to death during the first year of life in the U.S. Premature babies are also at higher risk for problems later in life such as breathing and feeding difficulties or vision and hearing problems.

African-American and Hispanic women are up to 50 percent more likely to deliver prematurely.