The overall birth rate among U.S. teens ages 15 to 19 has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded, but racial and ethnic disparities persist, the CDC said in a recent report.
In a April 29 report, the CDC said the overall teen birth rate between 1991 and 2014 dropped 61 percent from 61.8 to 24.2 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19, but that the birth rate in 2014 remained about twice as high for Hispanic and black teens compared to white teens.
"Teen childbearing can have negative health, economic, and social consequences for mothers and their children and costs the United States approximately $9.4 billion annually," the report stated.
The CDC noted that unfavorable social determinants such as low parental educational attainment and limited opportunities for education and employment were more common "in communities with higher proportions of racial and ethnic minorities, contributing to the challenge of further reducing disparities in teen births."
"Ongoing efforts to integrate social determinants of health into teen pregnancy prevention program(s) play a critical role in addressing racial/ethnic and geographical disparities observed in teen births in the United States," the report stated.
By providing the technology to efficiently connect underserved populations, such as teens belonging to minority groups, to programs that can help address unfavorable social determinants of health, Healthify seeks to reduce health disparities in teen childbearing and in other areas.
Healthify's goal follows its belief that non-clinical factors of health, such as food, employment and education, can have a bigger impact on a person's health than medical care, and that facilitating access to aid in those areas will help people get on the path toward good health.
Image Source: Centers for Disease Control