Massachusetts Birth Report Shows Lowest Teen Birth Rate in State History at 50 Percent Below National Average
Report also shows lowest rate of smoking for pregnant women
BOSTON — The Department of Public Health (DPH) today released its latest Birth Report, which shows Massachusetts has the lowest teen birth rate in the history of the study at 50 percent below the national average. The report also shows the lowest rate of smoking for pregnant women on record.
“This report is good news for Massachusetts families,” said Governor Deval Patrick, “The work we do in promoting public health has a real impact on the lives of children and families across the state.”
Data from the report shows that in Massachusetts, the 2010 teen birth rate (17.1 births per 1,000 women ages 15-19) was the lowest teen birth rate ever recorded, and declined 12 percent from 2009 (19.5 births per 1,000 women ages 15-19). The teen birth rate in Massachusetts (17.1 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 years) was half that of the U.S. rate (34.3 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 years).
The infant mortality rate in Massachusetts (4.4 deaths per 1,000 births) also decreased slightly since 2009 and was 28 percent lower than the preliminary national average (6.1) during the same time period.
“These results show that we continue to make great strides in public health,” said Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz. “This is also a testament to the hard work and effort of our partners, including health care providers, community-based organizations and schools.”
The report also showed that in 2010, the percentage of mothers that reported smoking during pregnancy was the lowest in the history of the study in Massachusetts. It declined from 6.8 to 6.3 percent.
The report also showed encouraging news in breastfeeding. In 2010, the percentage of mothers who breastfed or intended to breastfeed at time of discharge reached a record high of 83 percent, a 1 percent increase from 2009.
“We know that breastfeeding provides vitally important health benefits for infants, so we’re delighted with these findings,” said DPH interim Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith. “The data shows that we’re on the right track, and we will continue to work with our partners to promote breastfeeding for new mothers in Massachusetts.”
Other Findings Include
The number of births in Massachusetts is dropping and newborns are more diverse:
In 2010, the total number of births to Massachusetts resident women was 72,835. This is 2,131 fewer births than in 2009. This was not a statistically significant decline in the number of births; however, there was a significant decline in the fertility rate for 2010 (53.7 births among women ages 15-44 per 1,000 births) from the 2009 rate (55.1). There were significant declines in birth rates among women ages 15-19 (see below), 20-24, 25-29, and among women ages 30-34 years.
- Compared with mothers who had a college degree or more, mothers with a high school education or less were less likely to receive adequate prenatal care, more likely to report smoking during their pregnancies, more likely to have publicly financed prenatal care, and more likely to deliver low birth weight (LBW) infants (less than 2,500 grams or 5.5 pounds).
Other key findings of the report include:
- The 2010 Massachusetts Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) decreased slightly from 2009 (4.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010 vs. 4.9 in 2009). The IMRs for all racial groups remained stable from 2009 as well. The 2010 Black IMR (8.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births) was higher than the state IMR (4.4), while the White IMR (3.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births) was lower than the state IMR. The IMR in Massachusetts was 28% lower than the US IMR in 2010 (6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births).
- There has been a marked change in the age distribution of Massachusetts women giving birth since 1980. Approximately 25% of women giving birth in 1980 were 30 years and older compared with 54% in 2010.
- 2010 Report (published March 2013) file size 2MB file size 21MB
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