Premature infants are at high risk for respiratory problems and mortality, and are among the most significant cost drivers in health care, says a new study.
Births at less than 37 weeks of gestation are the leading cause of health problems in infants and are estimated to cost the US more than $26 billion annually, according to a report released by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation at the University of Michigan. The Prematurity Issue Brief—a compilation of national and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) data—also revealed a disparity in preterm births among black infants and infants of other races.
“One in eight babies is born prematurely in the U.S. and Michigan with serious consequences for infant morbidity and mortality,” said Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of CHRT, in a statement. “Premature infants are at high risk for respiratory problems and mortality and, are among the most significant cost drivers in health care. Yet, risk factors for preterm birth are complex and not fully understood including why black infants are more likely to be born prematurely than infants of other races.”
Highlights of the Prematurity Issue Brief include the following:
To access the CHRT Prematurity Issue Brief, click here.
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