Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1779–1790

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

  • Phyllis A. Wingo
  • Catherine A. Lesesne
  • Ruben A. Smith
  • Lori de Ravello
  • David K. Espey
  • Teshia G. Arambula Solomon
  • Myra Tucker
  • Judith Thierry


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.


American Indian Alaska Native Teen pregnancy Trend analyses 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis A. Wingo
    • 1
  • Catherine A. Lesesne
    • 2
  • Ruben A. Smith
    • 1
  • Lori de Ravello
    • 3
  • David K. Espey
    • 4
  • Teshia G. Arambula Solomon
    • 5
  • Myra Tucker
    • 1
  • Judith Thierry
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.ICF MacroAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAlbuquerqueUSA
  5. 5.Native American Research and Training Center, Family and Community MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  6. 6.Division of Clinical and Community Services, Office of Clinical and Preventive ServicesIndian Health ServiceWashingtonUSA
  7. 7.Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting ProgramHealth Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health BureauRockvilleUSA

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