July 19, 2001
Contact: Bonnie Widerburg, (971) 673-1282
Technical Contact: Karen Hampton, (971) 673-1160
Data show fewer women smoke during pregnancy
Oregon is making headway in reducing tobacco use among expectant mothers, according to data that appear in the
Oregon Vital Statistics Annual Report for 1999, recently published by the state Department of Human Services.
"We found some positive changes in the 1999 birth data," says Mel Kohn, M.D., state epidemiologist at the Health Services. "We are especially encouraged by a decline in the number of women who smoked while they were pregnant."
"The fact that fewer mothers are smoking means they are getting the message that tobacco is harmful to them and to their babies," says Kohn. "But we need to redouble our efforts, because far too many women continue to smoke."
The Health Services is planning a new program that will enhance current tobacco cessation efforts, according to Donalda Dodson, director of child and family health programs. "We are working with health care providers to increase their use of interventions to help pregnant women stop smoking," Dodson says. The program has support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Smoke Free Families program.
Highlights from the
1999 Oregon Vital Statistics Annual Report:
- Fewer than one in six Oregon mothers (14.5 percent) reported using tobacco during pregnancy, a decline of 18.5 percent since 1995. However, more women in Oregon smoked during pregnancy than in the United States as a whole (14.5 percent versus 12.6 percent).
- Babies born to women who smoke are more likely to be low-birthweight. In 1999, women who smoked had a low birthweight rate of 77.5 per 1,000 births, compared to 49.1 per 1,000 for women who did not smoke.
- There were 45,193 Oregon births in 1999, down from 45,228 in 1998. Of these births, 5,491 in 1999 were to teen mothers aged 15-19, a reduction from 5,565 in 1998.
- The birth rate for teens aged 15-19 was 46.6 births per 1,000 population, which is a decline of 3.5 percent from the previous year. Oregon's teen birth rate is lower than that for the nation, which is 49.6 births per 1,000 teens aged 15-19.
- Overall, 81 percent of Oregon women who gave birth in 1999 received early or first trimester prenatal care. Oregon's rate of early prenatal care remains stable but is slightly lower than that for the nation (83.2 percent).
- Women between 30 and 34 years were most likely to obtain first trimester care (87.3 percent). In comparison, only 67.3 percent of mothers between 15-19 years receive early prenatal care.
- Oregon's divorce and marriage rates dropped in the last half century. Marriages were down to 7.8 per 1,000 population in 1999 after hitting a peak of 10.6 per 1,000 in 1982. Divorce peaked in 1981 at 5.3 per 1,000 population and decreased to 4.7 per 1,000 in 1999.
- The number of unmarried mothers hit an all-time high of 13,738 in 1999; 30 percent of women were unmarried at the time their baby was born. This was slightly lower than the national average of 33 percent.
- In 1999 there were 14,145 induced terminations of pregnancy (abortions) in Oregon, which is slightly more than a 1 percent decrease from 1998.
- Access to abortion services decreased in 1999. Only 10 of 36 counties had an abortion provider. In 1985, 23 of 36 Oregon counties provided access to abortion services and 65 percent of all women used a provider in Multnomah County. In 1999, nearly 73 percent of abortions were performed in Multnomah County.
These and many other statistics concerning birth, abortion, and teen pregnancy can be found on the Web at:
http://www.healthoregon.org/chs/vol1.cfm or by calling the Center for Health Statistics at the Health Services,