A little good news for a change

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Look at this!

Today, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report announced the results of 22 years of following the teen birthrate. As you can see from the above graph, originally published on their site, there has been a considerable decline in the overall birthrate to teen mothers, which has now reached an overall all-time low of 26.6 per 1,000 population.

 

I am not generally concerned with sharing news immediately, but this is so very exciting! As you can see, the rate varies for different population groups, but all the groups have seen a decline. There remains work to do in some segments, especially in the Hispanic and Black populations, but those two have seen the biggest decline since 1991.

 

Why does this matter?

Teenage birthrate often correlates with rates of poverty, inadequate healthcare for children, community high school dropout rates, and more. Teen parents may be more likely to abuse their children. Infants born to teen moms are more likely to be on medical assistance, and so on.

 

I plan to address the possible causes of this trend in an upcoming post, but for now I just wanted you to see some good news and join me in my happiness.

 

Enjoy your weekend and let me know what your thoughts are on this phenomenon.

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

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