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Rate of Teen-Age Pregnancy Falls After Long Rise

October 26, 1994| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The rate at which American teen-agers are having babies has dropped by 2%, marking a sudden turnaround from a skyrocketing increase that had totaled 27% since 1986, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

"We feel it's a real change," said Stephanie Ventura, a statistician who wrote the report for the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. "It reverses a pattern where it had been going up 5, 6, 7% a year from 1986 on."

The center calculated the nation's birth trends by analyzing the 4.07 million birth certificates filed in 1992.

For every 1,000 women ages 15 to 19 in 1992, the center reported 60.7 births.

The good news on teen-age births was somewhat shadowed by the 1992 birth report finding that many babies--7.1%--still are born too small.

Babies that are born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces are at increased risk of death during early infancy and of developmental problems.

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