HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The March of Dimes' 2016 Premature Birth Report Card has been released and Horry County received an "F" grade while South Carolina as a whole got a "D."
The South Carolina counties with the greatest number of births were graded based on their 2014 preterm birth rates, according to the report.
Horry County's 2016 preterm birth rate was 12.3 percent. Overall, South Carolina had a preterm rate of 11.1 percent.
The Palmetto State followed a national trend, as the March of Dimes' report, released Tuesday, noted the nation's preterm birth rate worsened for the first time in eight years. The U.S. received a "C" grade.
"The 2016 March of Dimes Report Card demonstrates that there is an unfair burden of premature birth among specific racial and ethnic groups as well as geographic areas," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "The March of Dimes strives for a world where every baby has a fair chance, yet we see this is not the reality for many mothers and babies."
According to its mission statement, the March of Dimes seeks to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
For more on the 2016 report card, click here.