(12/28/2013)
The March of Dimes is reporting that West Virginia's preterm birth rate has decreased for the sixth year in a row.

Despite improvements, the state's rate of 12.4 percent isn't low enough to change its grade from a "C" on the 2013 Premature Birth Rate Report Card.

March of Dimes says the national average is 11.5 percent.

Amanda Tritt, community director for the West Virginia March of Dimes, says the improvement is encouraging. She says the organization has been focusing on outreach and education to improve the health of babies in West Virginia, but there are still areas that need improvement.

The state, which has a high rate of teen pregnancy, still has the highest rate of smoking, as well as a high rate of drug abuse, during pregnancy.


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