U.S. Teen Birth Rate Down, More Older Moms

ATLANTA, April 6 (UPI) — After rising for the previous two years, the U.S. teen birth rate dropped 2 percent in 2008, federal health officials said.

The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics is an analysis of 99.9 percent of birth records for 2008.

“Births: Preliminary Data for 2008,” found there were 41.5 births per 1,000 teenagers ages 15-19, down from 42.5 per 1,000 teens in 2007.

In 2008, there were 4,251,095 U.S. births — a drop of nearly 2 percent from 2007, a preliminary analysis found.

While the birth rate in 2008 for older teens ages 18-19 declined by 4 percent from the year before, the preliminary birth rate for women ages 40-44 in 2008 increased 4 percent, to 9.9 births per 1,000 women — the highest rate since 1967, the report said.

From 2007 to 2008, the U.S. low-birth weight rate — babies born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces, are at increased risk for serious health problems as newborns, lasting disabilities and death — remained unchanged 8.2 percent, the report said.

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