AHRQ Stats: Teen Childbirth
AThe rate of teen hospital stays for childbirth fell 40 percent nationwide between 2004 and 2013. Reductions ranged from 25 percent to 50 percent among 36 states. The smallest decreases were in Kentucky (down 19 percent), Nebraska (12 percent) and West Virginia (5 percent). (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #208: Teen Hospital Stays for Childbirth, 2004-2013.)
Kathryn R. Fingar, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Megan M. Hambrick, M.S.W.
The national teen birth rate has declined almost continuously over the last several decades, from a high of 61.8 per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years in 1991 to 24.2 in 2014.1 Nevertheless, the rate remains higher in the United States than in many other industrialized countries.2 The teen birth rate also remains higher in certain regions of the United States, such as the South.3
Not only can teen pregnancy have immediate and long-term social and economic consequences, such as lower educational attainment, unemployment, and poverty,4 teen mothers and their infants often have poor health outcomes. Compared with older women who give birth, pregnant teens have been found to be more likely to start prenatal care later, to smoke or abuse other substances during pregnancy, and to suffer from mental illness.5,6 Teens also have higher rates of certain pregnancy-related complications than older women, including pregnancy-induced hypertension and anemia, and they are more likely to deliver a preterm or low-birth-weight infant.7
This Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Brief updates a previously published Brief8 and presents data on hospital stays for childbirth among teens aged 15-19 years from 2004 through 2013. Characteristics and complications of pregnancy among teen stays for childbirth are compared with childbirth stays among women aged 20-44 years in 2013. Trends in the rate of teen hospital stays for childbirth from 2004 through 2013 are presented for patient subgroups, regions of the United States, and individual States. All data are reported for the hospital stay of the mother rather than the newborn. Differences of greater than 10 percent are noted in the text.
Characteristics of teen hospital stays for childbirth, 2013
Table 1 presents the frequency, population-based rate, mean length of stay, and mean and aggregate costs of hospital stays for childbirth among females aged 15-19 years in 2013, overall and by subgroup.