Article

Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1779-1790

First online:

Geographic Variation in Trends and Characteristics of Teen Childbearing among American Indians and Alaska Natives, 1990–2007

  • Phyllis A. WingoAffiliated withDivision of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Email author 
  • , Catherine A. LesesneAffiliated withICF Macro
  • , Ruben A. SmithAffiliated withDivision of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • , Lori de RavelloAffiliated withDivision of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • , David K. EspeyAffiliated withDivision of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • , Teshia G. Arambula SolomonAffiliated withNative American Research and Training Center, Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona
  • , Myra TuckerAffiliated withDivision of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • , Judith ThierryAffiliated withDivision of Clinical and Community Services, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services, Indian Health ServiceMaternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau

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Abstract

To study teen birth rates, trends, and socio-demographic and pregnancy characteristics of AI/AN across geographic regions in the US. The birth rate for US teenagers 15–19 years reached a historic low in 2009 (39.1 per 1,000) and yet remains one of the highest teen birth rates among industrialized nations. In the US, teen birth rates among Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth are consistently two to three times the rate among non-Hispanic white teens. Birth certificate data for females younger than age 20 were used to calculate birth rates (live births per 1,000 women) and joinpoint regression to describe trends in teen birth rates by age (<15, 15–17, 18–19) and region (Aberdeen, Alaska, Bemidji, Billings, California, Nashville, Oklahoma, Portland, Southwest). Birth rates for AI/AN teens varied across geographic regions. Among 15–19-year-old AI/AN, rates ranged from 24.35 (California) to 123.24 (Aberdeen). AI/AN teen birth rates declined from the early 1990s into the 2000s for all three age groups. Among 15–17-year-olds, trends were approximately level during the early 2000s–2007 in six regions and declined in the others. Among 18–19-year-olds, trends were significantly increasing during the early 2000s–2007 in three regions, significantly decreasing in one, and were level in the remaining regions. Among AI/AN, cesarean section rates were lower in Alaska (4.1%) than in other regions (16.4–26.6%). This is the first national study to describe regional variation in AI/AN teen birth rates. These data may be used to target limited resources for teen pregnancy intervention programs and guide research.

Keywords

American Indian Alaska Native Teen pregnancy Trend analyses