Experience with Teenage Pregnancy

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A retrospective study of 4224 deliveries to women age 19 or younger was conducted. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the characteristics of teenage pregnancy in an urban, predominantly nonwhite, socioeconomically depressed population. A total of 10,011 infants were delivered during the study period, with 42% (4224) of the infants born to teenagers. It is concluded that teenage pregnancy among the urban, nonwhite poor is characterized by poor outcome, primarily as a reflection of the high-risk obstetric population from which it derives, and only secondarily due to any risk inherent to maternal age. In addition, a striking characteristic of pregnancy in this age group is its tendency to repeat itself. Teenage pregnancy is a sociologic problem with medical consequences, and medical programs as they presently exist are incapable of bringing about the ultimate solution—prevention.

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