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New Jersey Health Statistics 1996

NATALITY
1996

MATERNAL CHARACTERISTICS

Age

The modal age group of New Jersey resident women giving birth in 1996 was 30 through 34. The modal group is that with the greatest number of births. The median age of mothers was 30.0 years, where the median age is that age where half of the mothers are older and half are younger. Nearly one-third of births were to women aged 30 through 34 (36,713 births or 32.1%) and slightly more than one-quarter were to women aged 25 through 29 (30,809 births or 26.9%) (Table N11). In 1996, 17.8 percent of births were to women 35 years and older (20,296 births). This is a 5.6 percent increase over the 1995 number. The 8,806 births to women under 20 years of age accounted for 7.7 percent of the total number of births in 1996, a 5.8 percent decrease from the previous year=s number (Table N12).

Hispanic women giving birth in 1996 tended to be younger than New Jersey mothers overall. The modal age group for Hispanics was 20 through 24 (5,270 births or 27.5%) and the median age was 26.3 years. The age group with the second highest number of births was 25 through 29 (5,172 births or 26.9%) (Table N11A).

Births to resident women under the age of 20 vary considerably by county (Table N13 and Figure N3). The county with the highest percentage of births to teenage mothers was Cumberland County (18.5%). The overall state percentage of births to teenagers was 7.7 percent in 1996, a decrease from the 8.1 percent of births to teen mothers in 1995 (Table N12). Table N4A presents births to teens for selected municipalities.

TABLE N4A. RESIDENT BIRTHS TO TEENS FOR SELECTED MUNICIPALITIES
NEW JERSEY, 1996
MUNICIPALITY (COUNTY) NUMBER OF BIRTHS TO TEENS PERCENT OF TOTAL BIRTHS
Atlantic City (ATLANTIC) 135 17.9
Camden (CAMDEN) 499 28.3
Vineland (CUMBERLAND) 123 15.7
East Orange (ESSEX) 230 17.6
Irvington (ESSEX) 162 15.2
Newark (ESSEX) 1,026 20.2
Jersey City (HUDSON) 532 13.3
Union City (HUDSON) 128 11.5
Trenton (MERCER) 313 20.6
New Brunswick (MIDDLESEX) 137 15.5
Old Bridge Township (MIDDLESEX) 22 2.7
Perth Amboy (MIDDLESEX) 145 18.4
Woodbridge (MIDDLESEX) 51 4.2
Dover Township (OCEAN) 44 4.6
Lakewood (OCEAN) 87 5.9
Passaic (PASSAIC) 227 15.6
Paterson (PASSAIC) 588 19.6
Elizabeth (UNION) 267 13.5
Plainfield (UNION) 140 15.6

Race and Ethnicity

In 1996, there were 82,440 births to white women (72.1%), 20,159 to black women (17.6%), 2,211 to Asian Indian women (1.9%), 1,312 to Filipino women (1.1%), 1,213 to Chinese women (1.1%), 746 to Korean women (0.7%), 1,271 to other Asian/Pacific Islander women (1.1%), 219 to Native American women (0.2%), and 1,618 to women of other races (1.4%). Race of the mother was unknown or not stated on 3,146 birth certificates (2.8%). Mother's race by county and selected municipality of residence is presented in Table N14.

There were 19,197 births to women of Hispanic origin of any race in New Jersey in 1996. Of these women, 16,512 stated their race as white (86.0%), 1,115 stated their race as black (5.8%), and 1,275 stated their race as other than white or black (6.6%). Race was not stated on 295 birth certificates with mothers of

Figure N3

Hispanic origin (1.5%) (Table 11A). There were 671 more births to Hispanic women in New Jersey in 1996 than there were in 1995 even though the total number of births in the state decreased. Approximately half (47.7%) of the births to Hispanic women were to residents of Hudson, Passaic, or Essex Counties (Table N15). In 1996, 45.8 percent of New Jersey's Hispanic mothers reported Central or South America as their country of origin; 36.9 percent were of Puerto Rican origin, 11.9 percent of Mexican origin, 4.4 percent of Cuban origin, and the remaining 0.9 percent of other or unknown Hispanic origin (Table N16).

Marital Status

In 1996, over one-quarter (27.4%) of New Jersey mothers were unmarried at the time of their child's birth, conception, or at any time between. Other than slight declines in 1985 and 1995, the percentage of unmarried mothers has been increasing in New Jersey over the last two decades (Table N18). Table N19 presents mother's marital status by county and selected municipality of residence.

Marital status varied considerably by race and Hispanic ethnicity. While 67.2 percent of black mothers were unmarried, 19.6 percent of white mothers and 14.8 percent of other race mothers were not married. Despite the differences in the marital status of black and white mothers, the number of births to unmarried white females exceeded the number of births to unmarried black females (Table N17). Overall, 49.6 percent of Hispanic mothers were not married, however this also varied substantially, by country of origin: 59.1 percent of Puerto Rican mothers, 56.1 percent of Mexican mothers, 43.5 percent of Central and South American mothers, and 21.0 percent of Cuban mothers were unmarried. Among mothers of other or unknown Hispanic origin, 33.3 percent were not married (CHS, 1998a).

Another variable related to marital status is age of the mother. Only 1.0 percent of mothers under the age of fifteen were married, while 78.4 percent of mothers aged 45 and over were married. Of all mothers under the age of 25, two-thirds (68.1%) were not married (Table N4B). Table N20 distributes marital status by age and race of the mother.

TABLE N4B. RESIDENT BIRTHS BY AGE AND MARITAL STATUS OF THE MOTHER
NEW JERSEY, 1996
AGE OF
MOTHER

TOTAL
BIRTHS

MARITAL STATUS*
MARRIED NOT MARRIED NOT STATED
NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT
UNDER 15 208 2 1.0 206 99.0 0 0.0
15-19 8,598 937 10.9 7,637 88.8 24 0.3
20-24 17,667 7,327 41.5 10,174 57.6 166 0.9
25-34 67,522 54,963 81.4 10,982 16.3 1,577 2.3
35-44 20,125 17,112 85.0 2,236 11.1 777 3.9
45 AND OVER 171 134 78.4 23 13.5 14 8.2
NOT STATED 44 27 61.4 15 34.1 2 4.5
TOTAL 114,335 80,502 70.4 31,273 27.4 2,560 2.2
* As determined by response to the birth certificate item: "Mother married? (At birth, conception or any time between)"

Prenatal Care

A total of 1,170,393 prenatal visits were reported by New Jersey women who delivered in 1996. That is an average of 11.2 visits by women who received prenatal care. The number of prenatal care visits was not stated on 7.2 percent of certificates in 1996 (CHS, 1998a).

Of all New Jersey residents delivering in 1996, 75.0 percent began receiving prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy while 1.3 percent received no prenatal care. Onset of prenatal care was not stated on 8.0 percent of birth certificates (Table N5).

Onset of prenatal care varied considerably by race, Hispanic ethnicity, and marital status. While 80.6 percent of white mothers and 77.3 percent of mothers of races other than white or black received prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy, only 60.9 percent of black mothers received care in the first trimester (Table N5). Among mothers of Hispanic origin, 68.6 percent began prenatal care in the first trimester (Table N5A), while 80.6 percent of non-Hispanic mothers sought early prenatal care. Prenatal care started in the first trimester for 83.3 percent of married mothers (CHS, 1998a) and 59.7 percent of unmarried mothers (Table N5B). Onset of prenatal care by county and selected municipality of residence is provided in Table N21.

Teenage mothers of any race, ethnicity, or marital status received first trimester prenatal care less often than their older counterparts. Overall, slightly more than half (54.3%) of mothers under the age of 20 obtained first trimester prenatal care (Table N5). By race, first trimester care was obtained by 58.2 percent of white teens, 49.3 percent of black teens, and 59.2 percent of other race teenage mothers. Additionally, 61.7 percent of married teenage mothers began prenatal care in the first trimester (CHS, 1998a) while 53.5 percent of unmarried teen mothers received prenatal care this early (Table N5B).

Percentages of mothers receiving no prenatal care also varied by age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and marital status. While 4.9 percent of black mothers delivering in 1996 received no prenatal care, only 0.5 percent of white mothers and other race mothers did not receive any care (Table N5). Of Hispanic women (of any race) who delivered in 1996, 1.0 percent reported receiving no prenatal care (Table N5A) and 1.4 percent of non-Hispanic women reported no prenatal care (CHS, 1998a). The percentages of married and unmarried females who received no prenatal care also varied dramatically: 4.0 percent of unmarried mothers obtained no care (Table N5B) and 0.3 percent of married mothers did not receive prenatal care (CHS, 1998a). Teenage mothers failed to receive prenatal care more often than mothers aged 20 and over (2.4% vs. 1.2%). More than three percent of black teenage mothers received no prenatal care (3.7%) while 1.5 percent of white teenage mothers obtained no care (Table N5). Of the 367 births to teenage mothers of races other than white or black with responses to the prenatal care item, all but seven reported receiving prenatal care. While 1.4 percent of Hispanic teenage mothers received no prenatal care (Table N5A), 3.0 percent of non-Hispanic teenage mothers had no prenatal care (CHS, 1998a). Of married teen mothers, 0.6 percent did not receive care (CHS, 1998a) while 2.7 percent of unmarried teenage mothers received no prenatal care (Table N5B).

Onset of prenatal care also varied by birthplace of the mother. While 80.5 percent of U.S.-born mothers received first trimester prenatal care, 72.6 percent of foreign-born mothers received early prenatal care (Table N35).

Level of Education

Entry into prenatal care programs is also related to the mother's level of educational attainment. While only 56.7 percent of mothers with less than a high school education received first trimester prenatal care, 89.2 percent of mothers with a college degree received care in the first three months of pregnancy. Additionally, 4.1 percent of mothers without a high school diploma received no prenatal care. This compares with 0.1 percent of mothers with a college degree (Table N6).

TABLE N6. RESIDENT BIRTHS BY MOTHER'S EDUCATION AND ONSET OF PRENATAL CARE
NEW JERSEY, 1996
ONSET OF PRENATAL CARE TOTAL BIRTHS HIGHEST GRADE OF EDUCATION COMPLETED
HIGH
SCHOOL
HIGH
SCHOOL
SOME
COLLEGE
COLLEGE
DEGREE +
NOT
STATED
NO. % NO. % NO. % NO. % NO. %
First Trimester 85,718 9,024 56.7 26,366 76.7 19,753 82.7 29,165 89.2 1,410 18.9
Second Trimester 14,645 4,404 27.7 5,143 15.0 2,591 10.8 2,035 6.2 472 6.3
Third Trimester 3,374 1,222 7.7 1,123 3.3 541 2.3 371 1.1 117 1.6
No Care 1,451 650 4.1 540 1.6 119 0.5 45 0.1 97 1.3
Not Stated 9,147 620 3.9 1,182 3.4 883 3.7 1,086 3.3 5,376 71.9
TOTAL 114,335 15,920 100 34,354 100 23,887 100 32,702 100 7,472 100

Medical Risk Factors of the Pregnancy

Birth outcomes are affected by the presence of medical risk factors during pregnancy. In particular, the probability of infant death, low birth weight, and birth defects is known to increase when certain risk factors exist during pregnancy (Ventura, S.J., et al., 1998).

The most frequently reported medical risk factor among New Jersey residents delivering in 1996 was diabetes with a rate of 34.2 per 1,000 live births. By race, the rates of diabetes were 59.3 for mothers of races other than white or black, 33.1 for blacks, and 32.9 for whites (Table N22). Among Hispanic mothers, the rate of diabetes was 35.7 (Table N22A).

Pregnancy-associated hypertension was the second most frequently reported medical risk factor in 1996. Among New Jersey resident mothers, the rate of pregnancy-associated hypertension was 25.9 per 1,000 live births. Pregnancy-associated hypertension rates by race were 33.4 for blacks, 25.4 for whites, and 20.3 for other races (Table N22). The rate for mothers of Hispanic origin was 25.3 per 1,000 live births (Table N22A).

The third most frequently reported medical risk factor was sexually transmitted diseases other than genital herpes with a rate of 20.9 per 1,000 live births. Rates of non-herpes STDs varied substantially by race: 56.4 for blacks, 13.6 for whites, and 12.5 for other races (Table N22). Non-herpes STDs were reported for mothers of Hispanic origin at a rate of 27.5 per 1,000 live births (Table N22A).

The most frequently reported medical risks factors among blacks were somewhat different than for the population as a whole in New Jersey. Sexually transmitted diseases other than genital herpes was reported most among black mothers with a rate of 56.4 per 1,000 live births. Second was anemia (41.4 per 1,000 live births). Pregnancy-associated hypertension was the third most frequent risk factor at a rate of 33.4 per 1,000 live births. The rates for these three medical risk factors for the entire state were 20.9, 16.7, and 25.9, respectively (Table N22).

Medical risk factors for Hispanic mothers also differed from those of the state as a whole. The three most frequently reported risk factors among mothers of Hispanic origin were diabetes (35.7), sexually-transmitted diseases other than genital herpes (27.5), and anemia (26.8). The New Jersey total rates for these three factors were 34.2, 20.9, and 16.7 per 1,000 live births, respectively (Table N22A).

Medical risk factors also varied by age. For risks such as cardiac disease, diabetes, genital herpes, and chronic hypertension, which generally develop with increasing age, mothers 35 and over had the highest rates. Also risks related to previous pregnancies were higher among older mothers since younger mothers are often delivering their first child. Rates of anemia, sexually transmitted diseases other than genital herpes, hydramnios/oligohydramnios, eclampsia, and Rh sensitization were higher in teen mothers than in the population as a whole. The most striking observations were that 32.0 per 1,000 mothers aged 15 through 19 had acute or chronic lung disease compared with a rate of 15.5 for all mothers and 39.2 per 1,000 mothers aged 15 through 19 were anemic, while the rate for all mothers was 16.7 (Table N22B).

Complications of Labor and/or Delivery

There were 52,748 births (46.1%) in 1996 with no reported complications of labor and/or delivery. Of those reporting complications, the three most common (and their rates per 1,000 live births) were moderate or heavy meconium (62.4), excessive bleeding (61.8), and fetal distress (47.6). Rates of complications of labor and/or delivery varied substantially by race. The rate of moderate or heavy meconium was higher for black mothers than for white mothers or mothers of other races: 87.5 vs. 58.5 and 57.0, respectively. Black mothers also had a considerably higher rate of fetal distress: 61.1 per 1,000 live births versus 45.8 for white mothers and 47.6 for mothers of races other than white or black (Table N23). Increases in rates for nearly every complication versus the 1995 rates are likely due to the improved capture of data from the Electronic Birth Certificate.

Obstetric Procedures

In 1996, 103,394 New Jersey resident mothers (90.4%) had electronic fetal monitoring performed. By race, 93.0 percent of black, 92.4 percent of white, and 92.2 percent of other race mothers had this obstetric procedure performed. The second most frequently performed obstetric procedure was ultrasound: 63,093 births or 55.2 percent. This procedure was performed on 55.7 percent of white mothers, 62.2 percent of black mothers, and 50.6 percent of other race mothers (Table N24).


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