The disparity index measures the racial differences in preterm births.
Preterm births are important; babies born early die more often than full-term babies. And, according to the March of Dimes, premature birth is the "number one killer of babies." When preterm babies live, they "often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays." (score card release)
To put DC's grade in perspective, the US received a "C." Maine was first on the list regarding disparities and in the evaluation of city data, Portland, OR received an "A" while Shreveport, LA failed miserably.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month and World Prematurity Day will be observed Tuesday, November 17. Learn more and get involved.