health

Teen birth and abortion rates decrease, but ethnic and racial disparities persist

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 20, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The overall rates of births and abortions among U.S. teenagers in 2008 dropped to their lowest levels in nearly 35 years, due largely to improved contraceptive use, says a report issued Feb. 8 by the Guttmacher Institute. Despite the improvement, racial and ethnic disparities persist among black and Hispanic teens who have higher abortion and birth rates than white females.

Researchers found that in 2008, there were 434,758 births among females ages 15 to 19 compared with 616,280 births in this age group in 1972. The birth rate dropped from 62 births per 1,000 teens in 1972 to 40 births per 1,000 in 2008 (link). The abortion rate also decreased during that period from 19 abortions per 1,000 to 18 per 1,000.

In 2008, the birth rate was highest among Hispanics (70 births per 1,000 women) compared with blacks (60 births per 1,000) and whites (37 births per 1,000), the report said. Black teens had the highest abortion rate, 41 procedures per 1,000 women. The rate for Hispanic women was 20 abortions per 1,000. For whites, it was 13 per 1,000.

Researchers examined data on the U.S. population and births between 1972 and 2008 from the U.S. Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics. They also assessed information on abortions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit policy research organization that promotes reproductive health.

The report's authors encourage health professionals to ensure that all teenagers have information on the importance of using contraceptives to prevent pregnancy and that they have access to the products.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/02/20/hlbf0220.htm.

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn