The odds of having a premature baby are 12.2 percent in Kansas. A March of Dimes report released today mapped the stark state-by-state disparities in what it called a ``report card'' on prematurity, to track progress toward meeting a federal goal of lowering preterm births.
Kansas ranked in the middle. The government's goal: No more than 7.6 percent of babies born before completion of the 37th week of pregnancy higher. The report found a link between prematurity and high rates of smoking and a lack of insurance.
In Kansas, 17 percent of women of childbearing age lack insurance and 19.8 percent of them smoke.