Researchers analyzed federal statistics and found that labor inductions in the U.S. rose from 14% in 1992 to 27% in 2003, a trend that appears to be a "likely cause" of the increased proportion of earlier births seen during that time. They said the trend raises concerns because infants born at the 37th or 38th week of pregnancy are more at risk of suffering respiratory distress and other problems compared with infants born at the later end of full-term pregnancy.

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