MILWAUKEE (WKOW) – A new report indicates the number of premature births in Wisconsin is slightly up from last year.
The March of Dimes report released on Friday shows the state's pre-term birth rate is at 10.5 percent, which is up one-tenth of a percent from 2011.
Babies born prematurely can face serious and lifelong health problems, including developmental delays.
Premature birth is the leading cause of infant deaths. According to the Milwaukee Health Department, about 54 percent of infant deaths in the city are associated with premature birth.
The Journal Sentinel reports that the nation's rate of births before 37 weeks of pregnancy dropped for the sixth year in a row in 2012 to 11.5 percent.