A new report released today outlines the severity of extreme preterm birth in our community.

In Hamilton County, 554 babies were born extremely preterm, before their mother’s third trimester, between 2011 and 2015.  Of these babies, 286 died before their first birthday, with the majority dying on their first day of life. This makes extreme preterm birth the leading cause of infant death in Hamilton County.

Deaths occurred to families of all socioeconomic backgrounds. However, families experiencing extreme preterm birth were more likely to be African American.

This report highlights several known risk factors, such as maternal smoking and short spacing between pregnancies, which can increase a woman’s chance of early delivery. Additionally, women who had a previous preterm birth are more likely to have a preterm birth with their next pregnancy.

Women who are at higher risk for early birth are eligible for a consultation at the Family Preterm Birth Clinic, run by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. This new center opened to address the high number of extreme preterm births occurring in Hamilton County.

The local cost of preterm birth is over $400 million annually. Costs are elevated in our community because Hamilton County’s preterm birth rate is significantly higher than the national average.

To read the entire report, click here.