Ahead Of Their Time

How doctors are rethinking the growing problem of preterm births--by focusing on the moms, not the babies

In the U.S., one of the richest countries in the world, the number of babies born too early keeps going up--and with all their medical savvy, doctors can't figure out why. Today nearly 13 out of every 100 births are premature, an increase of 30% over the past 20 years. Part of that rise is due to the advent of modern fertility treatments, which caused a sharp jump in the number of twins, triplets and higher multiples--most of whom are born early. But it turns out that 83% of preemies in the U.S. are singletons whose prematurity can be caused by...

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