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US Teen Births Up Again in 2006 After 14-Year Decline

Rates highest in the South and Southwest

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Teen births in the United States rose by 3 percent in 2006 after 14 straight years of decline, according to a report, Births: Final Data for 2006, issued this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Joyce A. Martin, of the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the nearly 4.3 million U.S. births in 2006 to assess maternal demographic characteristics, antenatal medical care utilization and infant characteristics.

Across all age groups, 2006 saw the highest number of births in four decades and the largest increase in births since 1989, up 3 percent over 2005, the investigators found. Births to mothers aged 15 to 17 and 18 to 19 rose by between 3 and 4 percent, after rates fell from 1991 to 2005 by 45 percent and 26 percent, respectively, the data revealed. The highest rates were in Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, the researchers report.

"Only the rate for the youngest adolescents declined in 2006, to 0.6 per 1,000 aged 10-14 years," the authors write. "Between 2005 and 2006, birth rates increased 3 to 5 percent each for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and American Indian or Alaska Native teenagers and 2 percent for Hispanic teenagers. The rate for Asian or Pacific Islander teenagers was unchanged. Teenage birth rates increased significantly between 2005 and 2006 in 26 states, representing nearly every region of the country."

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