Births: Final Data for 2015

January 5, 2017

Questions for Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H., Demographer, Statistician, and Lead Author on “Births: Final Data for 2015

Q: Was there a result in your study’s analysis of births in the United States that you hadn’t expected and that really surprised you?

JM: Although small, (from 9.57% to 9.63%) the rise in the preterm birth rate (births of less than 37 completed weeks of gestation) was unexpected. This rate had been declining steadily since 2007.

Also of note is the decline in the triplet and higher-order multiple birth rate, down 9% from 2014 to 2015, and a decrease of 46% since 1998. The year 2015 also is the third straight year of declines in the rate of cesarean delivery (rate of 32.0% in 2015).

The continued, large decline in the teen birth rate (down 8% from 2014 to 2015) was also somewhat surprising, although not unprecedented. From 2007 through 2014, the teen birth rates had declined 7% annually.


Q: What is the difference between this new births report and the other reports your office produced on 2015 birth data, like the preliminary data report on 2015 births and the Data Brief on teen births?

JM: The annual report “Births: Final Data for 2015” offers substantially more detail (e.g., age, race and Hispanic origin of mother, state) on key topics, than does the report on preliminary birth statistics (“Births: Preliminary Data for 2015”). The final report also includes information on topics not included in the preliminary reports such as multiple births, attendant and place of birth, birth order and birth rates for fathers.


Q: How has the number of births in the United States changed in 2015 from previous years?

JM: The number of births in the United States declined slightly in 2015 (by 9,579 births to 3,978,497) from 2014. The decline for 2015 followed an increase in births for 2014, which was the first increase since 2007.


Q: What differences, if any, did you see among race and ethnic groups, and among various ages?

JM: Of continued concern are the higher risks of poor birth outcomes as measured by levels of preterm birth and low birthweight among non-Hispanic black mothers compared with total births and other race and Hispanic origin groups. For example, in 2015 the preterm birth rate for births to non-Hispanic black mothers was more than 50% higher at 13.41% than for non-Hispanic white women (8.88%) and nearly 50% higher than the rate for births to Hispanic mothers (9.14%).


Q: Did you observe any regional or state differences in this study on births?

JM: Differences by state were observed for many of the demographic and medical/health items included in the 2015 final birth report. For example, from 2014 to 2015, the general fertility rate–which is the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15–44–declined in eight states and was essentially unchanged in the 42 states and the District of Columbia (DC). In 2015, the general fertility rate ranged among states from 51.1 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in Vermont to 78.2 in South Dakota.

Also, increases in preterm birth rates were limited to four states from 2014 to 2015: Arkansas, California, Nebraska, and North Carolina. Rates declined in four states: Montana, New York, Texas and Wyoming. Nonsignificant differences were reported for the remaining states and DC.


Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2010–2014

December 20, 2016
Dr. Margaret Warner, Senior Epidemiologist

Dr. Margaret Warner, Senior Epidemiologist

Questions for Margaret Warner, Senior Epidemiologist  and Lead Author on “Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2010–2014.”

Q: Why did you decide to do a report on drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths?

MW: From our routine mortality statistics, we know that drug overdose death rates are increasing, and we have some insight into the classes of drugs involved. This report presents findings from a new method we developed to identify the specific drugs involved in drug overdose deaths, which gives us a more complete and granular understanding of the problem.


Q: Do you have 2015 data on drug overdose deaths? If not, when do you anticipate this being released?

MW: NCHS just released the 2015 mortality data at the beginning of December. CDC released an MMWR last week describing drug overdose deaths in 2015 and some of the drug classes involved. NCHS is currently analyzing the 2015 literal text data using the new method to report on the specific drugs, and plan to have those results available soon.


Q: How has the number of drug overdose deaths changed from 2010 to 2014?

MW: From 2010 through 2014, the number of drug overdose deaths per year increased 23%. During this 5-year period, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin more than tripled, and the rate of drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine more than doubled.

The rate of drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled in a single year (from 2013 to 2014). Fentanyl went from the 9th most common drug involved in overdose deaths in 2013 to the 5th most common in 2014.


Q: What are the most prevalent drugs involved in drug overdose deaths?

MW: The 10 drugs most frequently involved in overdose deaths included the following opioids: heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, methadone, and hydrocodone; the following benzodiazepines: alprazolam and diazepam; and the following stimulants: cocaine and methamphetamine.


Q: Were there any findings that surprised you?

MW: We suspected that multidrug toxicity played a role in drug overdose deaths, and this analysis revealed that nearly half of these deaths where at least one drug was mentioned on the death certificate, involved more than one drug. We were surprised that the top 10 drugs were often mentioned in combination with each other. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that the reporting on specific drugs improved with the percentage of death certificates mentioning at least one specific drug increasing from 67% in 2010 to 78% in 2014.


Provisional Estimates of Birth Data for 2014 through the Second Quarter of 2016

November 22, 2016

NCHS has released provisional estimates of selected reproductive indicators from birth data for 2014 through the second quarter of 2016. Estimates for 2014 and 2015 are based on final data.

The estimates for the first and second quarter of 2016 are based on all birth records received and processed by NCHS as of August 28, 2016.

Estimates are presented for: general fertility rates, age-specific birth rates, total and low risk cesarean delivery rates, preterm birth rates and other gestational age categories. These indicators were selected based on their importance for public health surveillance as well as the feasibility of producing reliable estimates using available provisional data. Future quarterly releases will include additional birth indicators from natality data.

Quarterly estimates are compared with estimates for the same quarter of the preceding year; for example, the second quarter of 2016 is compared with the second quarter of 2015. For comparability with rates for 12-month periods, the quarterly (3-month) rates have been annualized to present births per year per 1,000 population that would be expected if the quarter-specific rate prevailed for 12 months.

In addition, the rates and percentages for a 12-month period ending with each quarter (i.e., 12-month moving average) are presented to account for seasonality. Estimates for the 12-month period ending with the fourth quarter in each year can be interpreted as an annual provisional estimate for that year.

natality_infographic

 

 


Continued Declines in Teen Births in the United States, 2015

September 28, 2016

The birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 has fallen almost continuously since 1991, reaching historic lows for the nation every year since 2009.

Despite declines in all racial and ethnic groups, teen birth rates continue to vary considerably by race and ethnicity. Moreover, the U.S. teen birth rate remains higher than in other industrialized countries.

Childbearing by teenagers continues to be a matter of public concern.

A new report presents the recent and long-term trends and disparity in teen childbearing by race and Hispanic origin.

Findings:

  • The teen birth rate declined to another historic low for the United States in 2015, down 8% from 2014 to 22.3 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19.
  • The birth rates for teenagers aged 15–17 and 18–19 declined in 2015 to 9.9 and 40.7, respectively, which are record lows for both groups.
  • In 2015, birth rates declined to 6.9 for Asian or Pacific Islander, 16.0 for non-Hispanic white, 25.7 for American Indian or Alaska Native, 31.8 for non-Hispanic black, and 34.9 for Hispanic female teenagers aged 15–19.
  • Birth rates fell to record lows for nearly all race and Hispanic-origin groups of females aged 15–19, 15–17, and 18–19 in 2015.

U.S. Death Rates Higher, According to Early Preliminary Data

February 24, 2016

An early analysis of death records from October 2014 thru September 2015 suggests that death rates in the U.S. are higher than they were at the same point in 2014.

NCHS found that the age-adjusted death rate in the U.S. for the 12 month period ending with the third quarter of 2015 was 731.4 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to a rate of nearly 720 per 100,000 during the same period a year earlier.

The findings are part of the “Vital Statistics Rapid Release Program,” a web-based quarterly release of data on various leading causes of death in the U.S. This preliminary analysis by NCHS shows that mortality rates were higher from October 2014-September 2015 compared to the same period the year before for many leading causes of death, including:

  • Heart Disease (168 deaths/100,000 for 12 months ending in the third quarter 2015 vs. approximately 166/100,000 in 2014)
  • Stroke (37.5 in 2015 vs. 35.9 in 2014)
  • Alzheimer’s disease (28.9 in 2015 vs. 24.2 in 2014)
  • Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis (10.6 in 2015 vs. 10.3 in 2014)
  • Parkinson’s Disease (7.7 in 2015 vs. 7.3 in 2014)

Mortality rates remained the same or were lower in the 12 months ending with the third quarter of 2015 for a few causes of death:

  • Cancer (158.7 deaths/per 100,000 12 months ending in the third quarter 2015 vs. 161.2/100,000 in 2014)
  • Diabetes (21.2 in 2015 vs. 20.9 in 2014)
  • HIV (1.9 in 2015 vs. 2.0 in 2014)

The entire findings can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/pressroom/VSS_RR_216.pdf and will be available upon release at the following address: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/vsrr/mortality-dashboard.htm.

These provisional estimates are based on all complete death records received and processed by NCHS as of a specified cutoff date. National provisional estimates include events occurring only within the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

NCHS receives the death records and monthly provisional occurrence counts from state vital registration systems through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. A complete death record includes both demographic and medical information.


Smoking Prevalence and Cessation Before and During Pregnancy

February 10, 2016

Smoking_Pregnancy

A new NCHS report presents findings on maternal smoking prevalence and cessation before and during pregnancy as collected on the 2003 U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth, for a 46-state and District of Columbia reporting area, representing 95% of all births in the United States.

Findings:

  • About 1 in 10 women who gave birth in 2014 smoked during the 3 months before pregnancy (10.9%), and about one-quarter of these women (24.2%) did not smoke during pregnancy (i.e., quit before pregnancy).
  • The smoking rate at any time during pregnancy was 8.4%, with 20.6% of women who smoked in the first or second trimesters quitting by the third trimester.
  • Smoking during pregnancy was more prevalent for women aged 20–24 (13.0%) than for other ages, and by race and Hispanic origin, the highest rate was for non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native women (18%).

Mortality Among Centenarians in the United States, 2000─2014

January 25, 2016

The population of the United States is aging. Although centenarians are still uncommon, the numbers of Americans aged 100 and over increased 43.6%, from 50,281 in 2000 to 72,197 in 2014. As the number of centenarians increases, so does the number of deaths in this age group.

NCHS has released a report with mortality data filed by the 50 states and the District of Columbia for years 2000 through 2014 that was analyzed to determine the number of deaths, age-specific death rates by race and ethnicity, and sex-specific leading causes of death among centenarians.

  • Death rates for centenarians increased from 2000 through 2008 and then decreased through 2014 for both males and females.
  • Death rates for centenarians increased from 2000 through 2006 for the Hispanic population and from 2000 through 2008 for the non-Hispanic white and black populations, and subsequently decreased through 2014 for all racial and ethnic groups examined.
  • The top five causes of death among centenarians in 2014 were heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, cancer, and influenza and pneumonia.
  • Death rates for Alzheimer’s disease increased 119% between 2000 and 2014 among centenarians.