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Over 1 in 10 Babies Worldwide Born Prematurely

Update Date: May 04, 2012 09:44 PM EDT

More than 1 in 10 of babies worldwide are born prematurely every year, according to  the "Born Too Soon" report, which was compiled as part of the United Nations' "Every Woman Every Child" initiative. 

Prematurity is the leading cause of newborn deaths, and now the secondleading cause of death after pneumonia in children under the age of 5.

1.1 million children die each year due to complications of premature birth, and many survivors face a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems.

Authors estimate that three quarters of the deaths caused by premature birth each year could be prevented by spreading some simple, inexpensive treatments to low-income countries - including teaching "kangaroo care," in which moms carry their tiny babies nestled skin-to-skin on their bare chests for warmth when there are no incubators.

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