Preterm births decline to 9.6 percent in 2013 for babies born in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana State Department of Health officials say preterm births fell from 10.1 percent in 2009 to 9.6 percent in 2013.

It said Thursday that the percentage of black infants born before 37 weeks had the highest decline, dropping from 14.1 percent to 13.2 percent during that period. It says 2013 is the most recent year for which data is complete.

Health Commissioner Jerome Adams says preterm births are a leading factor in the number of children who die before their first birthdays. He says the state needs to continue to work to improve those numbers.

The Indiana State Department of Health says reducing infant mortality is one of its priorities.

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