Births to Teens Older and Younger Than 17 Years in San Bernardino County and California
Variables Associated with Infant Mortality and Survival
Objective: The purpose of this cohort, descriptive study was to attempt to understand the variables associated with discordant infant mortality among teenagers 17-19 years old whose infants demonstrated higher mortality than infants of teenagers who were younger than 17 years old in San Bernardino County, California. The intent was to elicit further research and/or define appropriate interventions for teen mothers within the age range 17-19 years. Methods: Data was abstracted from an electronic infant mortality data set, the State of California Birth Cohort File in which birth records from San Bernardino County for the period 1989 through 1993 were matched with mortality records. Results: The data showed that infants of white teens within the 17-19 age groups were more likely to have higher infant mortality rates when compared to their younger peers. Infant mortality rates among offspring of Hispanic and black teenage mothers showed no discrepancy between the two groups nor between county and state rates. Conclusions: Further study is needed to answer why infants of white teen mothers in the 17-19 age groups have higher mortality rates. There is also a need to review the services rendered to pregnant and parenting adolescents in San Bernardino County. In addition, very low birth weight infants were much more likely to die when born to older teens than when born to younger teens.