D.C., Maryland, Virginia gets low grades in premature births

WASHINGTON (AP) - The March of Dimes gives Delaware, Maryland and Virginia grades of "C" on its latest premature births report card, while the District of Columbia receives a "D."

The annual report card released Tuesday grades states on how far their rates are from the March of Dimes' goal of 9.6 percent by the year 2020. The district's rate for 2009, the year the report covers, is 14.2 percent, Maryland's is 12.7 percent and Virginia's rate is 11.4 percent.

The March of Dimes says number of late preterm deaths in the district declined, as did the smoking rate among women, but the number of uninsured women rose.

The national premature birth rate was 12.2 percent, which also translates to a "C."