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CDC: Teen Birth Rate Decreasing in United States

Decrease from 1990 to 2006-2010 may reflect an increase in the proportion of abstinent females

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- From 1990 to 2006-2010, the teen birth rate declined among U.S. females, according to a study published in the May 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Crystal Pirtle Tyler, Ph.D., from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues described trends in sexual experience and contraceptive use among 15- to 19-year old females based on nationally representative data from three survey cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth (1995, 2002, and 2006 to 2010).

The researchers found that the U.S. teen birth rate was 34.3 births per 1,000 females in 2010, which represented a 44 percent decrease from 1990. From 1995 to 2006-2010 there was an increase in the proportion of females who had never had sex, from 49 to 57 percent. For sexually experienced teens, there was an increase in the proportion reporting current use of highly effective contraceptive methods, from 47 percent in 1995 to 60 percent in 2006 to 2010. The use of highly effective contraceptives varied according to race/ethnicity, with rates of 66, 54, and 46 percent among white, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic black teens, respectively. The proportion of female teens who have never had sex was found to currently be comparable across racial/ethnic groups.

"The 2010 U.S. teen birth rate of 34.3 births per 1,000 females reflected a 44 percent decline from 1990," the authors write. "Despite this trend, U.S. teen birth rates remain higher than rates in other developed countries."

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