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Health Indicator Report of Preterm Births

Prematurity increases the risk for infant morbidity and mortality. Infants born preterm are at greater risk of dying in the first month of life. Preterm infants may require intensive care at birth and are at higher risk of developmental disabilities and chronic illnesses throughout life. They are more likely to require special education services. Health care costs and length of hospital stay are higher for preterm infants.

Notes

In 2014, NCHS changed the standard for gestational period from the Last Menstrual Period (LMP) based gestational age to the Obstetric/clinical Estimate (OE) based gestational age. Obstetric/clinical Estimate (OE) based gestational age groups for U.S. data are available only for years 2007 and later. Refer to [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_05.pdf Measuring Gestational Age in Vital Statistics Data: Transitioning to the Obstetric Estimate] for more information. Confidence intervals are not available for U.S. data.

Data Source

Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

The New Jersey Department of Health has been using the obstetric estimate (OE) to determine gestational age since 1989, while the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) had been calculating it using date of last menstrual period (LMP). In 2014, NCHS changed the standard for gestational period from the LMP-based gestational age to the OE-based gestational age. OE-based gestational age for U.S. data became available for years 2007 and later in February, 2016. Data in reports published prior to February, 2016 will not match data shown here. Refer to [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_05.pdf Measuring Gestational Age in Vital Statistics Data: Transitioning to the Obstetric Estimate] for more information.

Definition

Percent of live born infants born before 37 weeks of gestation based on obstetric estimate Preterm is synonymous with premature. Infants born at or after 37 weeks of pregnancy are called full term. Most pregnancies last around 40 weeks.

Numerator

Number of live born infants born before 37 weeks of gestation to resident mothers

Denominator

Number of live infants born to resident mothers

Healthy People Objective: Reduce preterm births

U.S. Target: 11.4 percent

How Are We Doing?

The percentage of infants born preterm (before 37 weeks of gestation) among New Jersey residents rose from 7.3% in 1990 to 10.4% in the mid-2000s. In 2015, the rate stood at 9.6%. The rate varies by several maternal and infant characteristics. The rate among Blacks is 55% higher than the rate among Whites.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The preterm birth rate in New Jersey is the same as that of the national as a whole.

What Is Being Done?

The [http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/ Division of Family Health Services] in the New Jersey Department of Health administers programs to enhance the health, safety and well-being of families and communities in New Jersey. Several programs are aimed at improving birth outcomes.
Page Content Updated On 11/06/2017, Published on 11/06/2017
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site (https://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 16 December 2017 4:00:21 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: https://nj.gov/health/shad ".

Content updated: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 07:52:42 EST