Nearly 1 in 25 US babies are born too soon

June 23, 2014 3:16 PM

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A large new study, covering millions of U.S. births over 15 years, finds that substantial numbers of babies, nearly one in 25, are born earlier than medically justified, through elective cesarean sections and elective induced labor. The study reinforces long-standing recommendations by professional medical and public health organizations against early-term deliveries without appropriate medical reasons.

"A growing body of research suggests that health outcomes are worse for infants born before 40 weeks gestation, compared to full-term births," said Scott A. Lorch, M.D., M.S.C.E., a neonatologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). "Unfortunately, many of these earlier births are 'non...

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