USA has the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy of any industrialized country. These rates are disproportionally higher in both minority and low-income communities, as in Flint, MI, where the pregnancy rate (42.8 births per 1000 teens) is higher than the state average (31.6). This rate nearly doubles when examining African American teens (71.7). We aim to gain a better understanding of what factors may influence teen pregnancy. Examining the data geographically, we can also better understand spatial differences in this phenomenon.METHODS:
We used CPT and ICD-9 codes to identify teen contraceptive use and pregnancy counseling, and linked this data with the patient’s ZIP code to model spatial variations in these behaviors. We also distributed a survey to Flint-area schools about their sex education. We then used geospatial analysis to determine which areas have higher risk for teen pregnancy, and compare this to the usage of contraception, sex education availability, amount of physician counseling, proximity to medical services, and other demographic spatial covariatesRESULTS:
We expect teen pregnancy to vary spatially with other socioeconomic factors, and are producing maps of the area showing co-occurrence of other factors (such as location of medical services and type of sex education available by school). From this data, we are computing statistical evidence to suggest which factors have the strongest links to teen pregnancy.CONCLUSION:
Our results can be used as a model to help physicians understand what influences pregnancy rates for their teen patients and deliver spatially targeted interventions which best reflect local conditions and experiences.