Online Program

Association of Country of Birth and Teenage Pregnancy in the United States

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jagjit Teji, MD, Pediatrics section of Neonatology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Kamal Eldeirawi, PhD-RN, Department of Health System Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Foreign-born children and adults in the United States have several more favorable health outcomes than their peers born in the United States. Although latest vital statistics have shown that teen pregnancy is dropping in the US, there is little research on how rates of teen pregnancy in the US vary by nativity.  


To examine the independent association of nativity with the teenage pregnancy in the US.  


We analyzed vital statistics data from the National Center for Health Statistics for the years 1995 thru 2002 for approximately 25 million live births. Teen birth was defined as live birth in mothers less than 20 years of age.  Teens were categorized as US-born if they were born within the 50 states of the US.  Teens born outside the 50 states were considered foreign-born. Logistic regression analysis was performed with the dependent variable teen birth with maternal place of birth as the independent variable. The potential confounding variables examined in this study included maternal race, gestational age, birth weight, maternal conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, pregnancy induced hypertension, maternal exposure to alcohol and tobacco. We also considered prenatal care, plurality, and gender as covariates. Stata 12.0 was utilized for statistical analysis.


Out of over 31 million records for births during the period 1995 thru 2002, over 25 million births had usable data. As expected, overall rates of teen births in the US decreased between 1995 and 2002 in both US-born and foreign born mothers. Teens born in the US were 2.49 times more likely to give birth than their counterparts born outside of the US. OR: 2.49, 95% confidence interval: 2.48-2.50 after controlling for covariates and confounding variables. The increased rates of teenage birth in US-born compared to foreign born were observed in every ethnic/race group examined in this analysis including non-Hispanic white.


Our analysis showed that birth is lower in foreign-born adolescents in the US than in their US-born peers in all race ethnic groups. More research is needed to uncover factors responsible for higher pregnancy rates among US-born teens.   Uncovering these factors and reasons for higher teen pregnancy rates in US-born may guide interventions and programs to address this health issue.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the pattern of US teen births according to nativity of the mother and by race ethnicity.

Keyword(s): Teen Pregnancy, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been clinically taking care of babies delivered by teen age mothers for the last 30 years in the neonatal intensive care unit, NICU, in the USA. Communication with teen mothers in the NICU about their life has lead me to enhance my interest on this subject. In order to prevent future teen pregnancies I wanted to learn about their causative factors with respect to race and the nativity of maternal birth.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.