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State of Alaska

Health Indicator Report of Teen Birth Rate

Research indicates that bearing a child during adolescence is associated with long-term difficulties for the teen, their child, and society. These consequences are often attributable to poverty and other adverse socioeconomic circumstances that frequently accompany early childbearing.^1^ Babies of teens are more likely to grow up in homes that offer lower levels of emotional support and cognitive stimulation, and they are less likely to earn a high school diploma. Giving birth during adolescence is associated with limited educational attainment, which in turn can reduce future employment prospects and earning potential.^2,3^[[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 1. Hoffman, S. D., & Maynard, R. A. (Eds.). (2008). Kids having kids: Economic costs and social consequences of teen pregnancy (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press. 2. CDC - Teen Pregnancy - Reproductive Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/]. Updated March 26, 2018. Accessed August 10, 2020. 3. Adolescent Health Program. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/wcfh/Pages/adolescent]. Accessed August 10, 2020. }}

Notes

Data for teen birth rate updated by Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Unit (MCH-Epi), Section of Women's, Children's and Family Health in August 2020. [SAS analysis in July 2020] Birth certificate data updated by HAVRS on June 26, 2020.   Population data from Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section [http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/pop/index.cfm]

Data Sources

  • [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/default.aspx Health Analytics and Vital Records Section (HAVRS)], Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data Interpretation Issues

The teen birth rate does not include abortions or miscarriages, and is an underestimate of the teen pregnancy rate.

Definition

Teen birth rate is reported as the number of live births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 in the same time period. This age range encompasses the ages at which the majority of teen births occur.

Numerator

The number of live births to residents aged 15-19 for a specific time period.

Denominator

The number of females aged 15-19 in the resident population for a specific time period.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the pregnancy rate among adolescent females aged 15 to 17 years

U.S. Target: 36.2 pregnancies per 1,000

Other Objectives

Healthy People Objective FP-8.2: Reduce pregnancies among adolescent females aged 18 to 19 years '''U.S. Target: 105.9 pregnancies per 1,000'''

How Are We Doing?

The teen birth rate in Alaska decreased from 65.6 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years in 1990 to 17.6 in 2019, a reduction of 73.2%. In addition to the decline in the rates, the absolute number of teen births has been on a decline from the most recent high of 1,128 in 2008 to 393 in 2019. The 393 births to youth aged 15-19 represented 4.0% of the total of 9,829 births in 2019. Births to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) and White youth comprised the majority of teen births as they are the two predominant races in Alaska.^4^ The teen birth rate of 33.1 per 1,000 for Alaska Native youth 15-19 years of age in 2019 was significantly higher than those of Asian/Pacific Islander (22.1 per 1,000), Black (14.3 per 1,000), and White (10.5 per 1,000) youth. Teen births were predominantly (57.3%) to married persons in 1980. In 2019, 84.5% of teen births occurred to unmarried persons. Persons aged 15-19 years in the Northern and Southwest regions had significantly higher teen birth rates than the remainder of the state for the five-year period between 2015-2019. Teen birth rates ranged from 11.1 per 1,000 females aged 15-19 in the Juneau Borough to 82.3 per 1,000 in the Kusilvak census area for the 5-year period of 2015-2019. In Alaska the repeat teen birth rate (a second live birth to teen) was 2.6 per 1,000 females ages 15-19 years in 2019. In 2019, 15.0% of births to teens were repeat births. By comparison, in 2012 the repeat teen birth rate was 5.6 and 16.8% of births to teens were repeat births.^5^ In 2014, 82.1% of teen births occurred among those who were enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid enrollment was higher for younger teens aged 15-17 years (86%) compared to older teens aged 18-19 years (81%).^6^ [[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 4. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Health Analytics and Vital Records Section. Alaska Vital Statistics 2018 Annual Report. [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Documents/PDFs/VitalStatistics_Annualreport_2018.pdf]. Accessed August 10, 2020. 5. Teen Births and Adolescent Sexual Health in Alaska. [http://mch-epibulletins.dhss.alaska.gov/Document/Display?DocumentId=1836]. Accessed August 10, 2020. 6. Reilly K, Newby-Kew A, Rosier, M. Recent Decline in Teen Birth Rate - Alaska, 2008-2014. State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin. 2016;12. May 3, 2016. [http://www.epi.alaska.gov/bulletins/docs/b2016_12.pdf]. Accessed August 10, 2020. }}

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The Alaska teen birth rate of 17.6 per 1,000 in 2019 is above the national rate of 16.6 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years for the same period. The teen birth rate in Alaska has been higher than the national average since 2008, although both are showing similar declines. With respect to the birth rates of younger teens, aged 15-17 years, Alaska has historically remained at or below the U.S. rate. In a national comparison of the 50 states and District of Columbia, the US birth rate for youth aged 15-19 years was 25.4 for 2013-2014. Alaska with a rate of 29.1, ranked 34th from having the lowest teen birth rate.^7^ The birth rate for White teens in Alaska at 20.5 was higher than the national rate of 18.0 for the group. U.S. county-level teen birth rates for 2013-2014 ranged from 3.1 to 199.0. The variation in county-level data reinforces the need to use local data to focus teen pregnancy prevention efforts on communities with the greatest need.[[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 7. Romero L, Pazol K, Warner L, et al. Reduced Disparities in Birth Rates Among Teens Aged 15-19 Years -- United States, 2006-2007 and 2013-2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:409-414. DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6516a1] Accessed August 10, 2020. }}

What Is Being Done?

The Alaska Adolescent Health Program (AHP) in the Division of Public Health, Section of Women's, Children's, and Family Health works to promote positive youth development and prevent or reduce negative health outcomes. This includes statewide partnerships to efficiently approach the prevention of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. The AHP staff works to promote healthy relationships and reduce risky behaviors in the lives of adolescents and to encourage family, school and community involvement in the lives of youth through technical assistance, trainings, and resources. For more information about the AHP, please visit: [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/wcfh/Pages/adolescent]. Through the State Personal Responsibility Education Program grant (PREP) funded by Family Youth Services Bureau. The Alaska PREP project focuses on providing evidence based health curriculum that educates youth on both abstinence and contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. The selected Fourth R curriculum is utilized in schools across Alaska for health education that incorporates positive adolescent development through building healthy relationships and decision-making skills.

Evidence-based Practices

Evidence-based programs and clinical services to prevent teen pregnancy through individual behavior change are important, but research is also shedding light on the role social determinants of health play in the overall distribution of disease and health, including teen pregnancy. Social health determinants include a person's age and the environment in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, and worship. The health determinants affect a wide range of health issues and quality-of-life outcomes and risks (Healthy People 2020). Certain social determinants, such as high unemployment, low education, and low income, have been associated with higher teen birth rates. Interventions that address socioeconomic conditions like these can play a critical role in addressing disparities observed in US teen birth rates. Health equity is achieved when everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their health potential regardless of social position or other characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual identity, or disability. Health inequities are closely linked with social determinants of health. Learn more at the Community Guide website [https://www.thecommunityguide.org/]. Evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs typically address specific protective factors on the basis of knowledge, skills, beliefs, or attitudes related to teen pregnancy, such as: [[br]]1. Knowledge of sexual issues, HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy (including methods of prevention). [[br]]2. Perception of HIV risk. [[br]]3. Personal values about sex and abstinence. [[br]]4. Attitudes toward condoms (pro and con). [[br]]5. Perception of peer norms and sexual behavior. [[br]]6. Individual ability to refuse sex and to use condoms. [[br]]7. Intent to abstain from sex or limit number of partners. [[br]]8. Communication with parents or other adults about sex, condoms, and contraception. [[br]]9. Individual ability to avoid HIV/STD risk and risk behaviors. [[br]]10. Avoidance of places and situations that might lead to sex. [[br]]11. Intent to use a condom. In addition to evidence-based prevention programs, teens need access to youth-friendly clinical services. Parents and other trusted adults also play an important role in helping teens make healthy choices about relationships, sex, and birth control. Learn about what CDC and other federal agencies are doing to reduce teen pregnancy at [http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/]. '''Recommendations:''' 1. Parents and other caregivers can help by talking with their teens about sex: encouraging teens to delay sexual initiation, encouraging sexually active teens to use effective birth control methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy and to use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and visiting a health care provider with their teen to learn about various types of birth control.^8^ 2. Health care providers can help by improving the quality of reproductive health care and related preventive health care for teens by promoting teen-friendly health clinics. encouraging teens to delay sexual initiation, offering effective contraceptive methods (including LARCs) for sexually active teens and discussing the pros and cons of each method, seeking training in LARC insertion and removal, and educating teens about the need to use condoms to prevent STDs, regardless of their chosen method of contraception.^8,9,10^ 3. Teens should be encouraged to talk openly to their parents, caregivers, and health care providers about making healthy choices regarding sexual activity.^5^[[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont See "Resources and References" for references. }}
Page Content Updated On 09/25/2020, Published on 10/06/2020
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (Ak-IBIS) web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 11 April 2021 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov ".

Content updated: Tue, 6 Oct 2020 13:54:34 AKDT
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics AK-IBIS web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 11 April 2021 5:52:23 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/ ".

Content updated: Tue, 6 Oct 2020 13:54:34 AKDT