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New Jersey Health Statistics
1997

NATALITY
Maternal Characteristics

Age

The modal age group of New Jersey resident women giving birth in 1997 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 (36,058 births or 31.8%) and slightly more than one-quarter were to women aged 25 through 29 (29,933 births or 26.4%) (Table N11). In 1997, 18.4 percent of births were to women 35 years and older (20,867 births). This is a 2.8 percent increase over the 1996 number. The 8,821 births to women under 20 years of age accounted for 7.8 percent of the total number of births in 1997, a 0.2 percent increase from the previous year=s number (Table N12).

Hispanic women giving birth in 1997 tended to be younger than New Jersey mothers overall. The modal age group for Hispanics was 20 through 24 (5,343 births or 27.6%) and the median age was 26.3 years. The age group with the second highest number of births was 25 through 29 (5,162 births or 26.7%) (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%), followed distantly by Salem County (15.7%). Morris and Hunterdon Counties had the lowest percentages of births to teens (1.9% and 2.0%, respectively). Table N4A presents births to teens for selected municipalities.

TABLE N4A. RESIDENT BIRTHS TO TEENS FOR SELECTED MUNICIPALITIES
NEW JERSEY, 1997
MUNICIPALITY (COUNTY) NUMBER OF
BIRTHS TO TEENS
PERCENT OF
TOTAL BIRTHS
Atlantic City (ATLANTIC) 133 17.7
Camden (CAMDEN) 523 29.4
Vineland (CUMBERLAND) 126 17.1
East Orange (ESSEX) 198 16.3
Irvington (ESSEX) 151 14.5
Newark (ESSEX) 990 19.4
Jersey City (HUDSON) 565 14.6
Union City (HUDSON) 125 11.4
Trenton (MERCER) 308 20.2
New Brunswick (MIDDLESEX) 138 16.8
Old Bridge Township (MIDDLESEX) 25 3.3
Perth Amboy (MIDDLESEX) 143 18.3
Woodbridge (MIDDLESEX) 31 2.5
Dover Township (OCEAN) 42 4.5
Lakewood (OCEAN) 105 6.8
Passaic (PASSAIC) 226 16.0
Paterson (PASSAIC) 555 18.6
Elizabeth (UNION) 302 15.0
Plainfield (UNION) 119 14.5

Race and Ethnicity

In 1997, there were 80,922 births to white women (71.4%), 20,595 to black women (18.2%), 2,510 to Asian Indian women (2.2%), 1,361 to Filipino women (1.2%), 1,245 to Chinese women (1.1%), 749 to Korean women (0.7%), 1,251 to other Asian/Pacific Islander women (1.1%), 171 to Native American women (0.2%), and 1,687 to women of other races (1.5%). Race of the mother was unknown or not stated on 2,841 birth certificates (2.5%). Mother's race by county and selected municipality of residence is presented in Table N14.

There were 19,343 births to women of Hispanic origin of any race in New Jersey in 1997. Of these women, 16,440 stated their race as white (85.0%), 1,623 stated their race as black (8.4%), and 1,222 stated their race as other than white or black (6.3%). Race was not stated on 58 birth certificates with mothers of Hispanic origin (0.3%) (Table 11A). There were 146 more births to Hispanic women in New Jersey in 1997 than there were in 1996 even though the total number of births in the state decreased. Approximately half (47.6%) of the births to Hispanic women were to residents of Hudson, Passaic, or Essex Counties (Table N15). In 1997, 46.5 percent of New Jersey's Hispanic mothers reported Central or South America as their country of origin; 35.3 percent were of Puerto Rican origin, 12.3 percent of Mexican origin, 4.7 percent of Cuban origin, and the remaining 1.2 percent of other or unknown Hispanic origin (Table N16).

Figure 3

Marital Status

In 1997, over one-quarter (27.7%) 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 66.6 percent of black mothers were unmarried, 20.1 percent of white mothers and 14.1 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, 49.1 percent of Hispanic mothers were not married, however this also varied substantially, by country of origin: 59.5 percent of Puerto Rican mothers, 56.4 percent of Mexican mothers, 42.3 percent of Central and South American mothers, and 22.2 percent of Cuban mothers were unmarried. Among mothers of other or unknown Hispanic origin, 36.0 percent were not married (CHS, 2000a).

Another variable related to marital status is age of the mother. Only 2.0 percent of mothers under the age of fifteen were married, while 84.7 percent of mothers aged 45 and over were married. Of all mothers under the age of 25, more than two-thirds (69.0%) 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, 1997
AGE OF MOTHER TOTAL BIRTHS MARITAL STATUS*
MARRIED NOT MARRIED NOT STATED
NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT
UNDER 15 197 4 2.0 192 97.5 1 0.5
15-19 8,624 875 10.1 7,717 89.5 32 0.4
20-24 17,624 7,099 40.3 10,342 58.7 183 1.0
25-34 65,991 53,584 81.2 10,833 16.4 1,574 2.4
35-44 20,723 17,718 85.5 2,237 10.8 768 3.7
45 AND OVER 144 122 84.7 15 10.4 7 4.9
NOT STATED 29 20 69.0 9 31.0 0 0.0
TOTAL 113,332 79,422 70.1 31,345 27.7 2,565 2.3
* As determined by response to the birth certificate item: "Mother married" (At birth, conception or any time between)"

Prenatal Care

A total of 1,160,428 prenatal visits were reported by New Jersey women who delivered in 1997. That is an average of 11.0 visits by women who reported receiving prenatal care. The number of prenatal care visits was not stated on 7.2 percent of certificates in 1997 (CHS, 2000a).

Of all New Jersey residents delivering in 1997, 74.9 percent began receiving prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy while 1.2 percent received no prenatal care. Onset of prenatal care was not stated on 7.6 percent of birth certificates (Table N5).

Onset of prenatal care varied considerably by race, Hispanic ethnicity, and marital status. While 80.9 percent of white mothers and 76.6 percent of mothers of races other than white or black received prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy, only 59.8 percent of black mothers received care in the first trimester (Table N5). Among mothers of Hispanic origin, 69.2 percent began prenatal care in the first trimester (Table N5A), while 80.4 percent of non-Hispanic mothers sought early prenatal care. Prenatal care started in the first trimester for 83.4 percent of married mothers (CHS, 2000a) and 59.3 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 (54.2%) of mothers under the age of 20 obtained first trimester prenatal care (Table N5). By race, first trimester care was obtained by 59.4 percent of white teens, 48.7 percent of black teens, and 48.6 percent of other race teenage mothers. Additionally, 61.3 percent of married teenage mothers began prenatal care in the first trimester (CHS, 2000a) while 53.6 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 4.7 percent of black mothers delivering in 1997 received no prenatal care, only 0.4 and 0.6 percent of white mothers and other race mothers, respectively, did not receive any care (Table N5). Of Hispanic women (of any race) who delivered in 1997, 1.0 percent reported receiving no prenatal care (Table N5A) and 1.3 percent of non-Hispanic women reported no prenatal care (CHS, 2000a). The percentages of married and unmarried females who received no prenatal care also varied dramatically: 3.9 percent of unmarried mothers obtained no care (Table N5B) and 0.2 percent of married mothers did not receive prenatal care (CHS, 2000a). Teenage mothers failed to receive prenatal care more often than mothers aged 20 and over (2.5% vs. 1.1%). More than four percent of black teenage mothers received no prenatal care (4.2%) while 1.2 percent of white teenage mothers obtained no care (Table N5). Of the 364 births to teenage mothers of races other than white or black with responses to the prenatal care item, all but six reported receiving prenatal care. While 1.2 percent of Hispanic teenage mothers received no prenatal care (Table N5A), 3.2 percent of non-Hispanic teenage mothers had no prenatal care (CHS, 2000a). Of married teen mothers, 0.7 percent did not receive care (CHS, 2000a) 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 80.3 percent of U.S.-born mothers received first trimester prenatal care, 72.9 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, 89.5 percent of mothers with a college degree received care in the first three months of pregnancy. Additionally, 3.8 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 N5. RESIDENT BIRTHS BY RACE AND AGE OF MOTHERAND ONSET OF PRENATAL CARE
NEW JERSEY, 1997

RACE AND AGE GROUP

TOTAL BIRTHS

TRIMESTER PRENATAL CARE BEGAN
FIRST SECOND THIRD NO CARE NOT STATED
NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT
WHITE
Under 20 4,600 2,734 59.4 1,296 28.2 340 7.4 55 1.2 175 3.8
20-24 10,970 7,648 69.7 2,283 20.8 526 4.8 107 1.0 406 3.7
25 & Over 65,336 55,088 84.3 5,155 7.9 1,013 1.6 191 0.3 3,889 6.0
Not Stated 16 1 6.3 2 12.5 0 0.0 1 6.3 12 75.0
Total 80,922 65,471 80.9 8,736 10.8 1,879 2.3 354 0.4 4,482 5.5
BLACK
Under 20 3,798 1,851 48.7 1,248 32.9 361 9.5 158 4.2 180 4.7
20-24 5,216 2,963 56.8 1,395 26.7 394 7.6 212 4.1 252 4.8
25 & Over 11,573 7,509 64.9 2,094 18.1 633 5.5 589 5.1 748 6.5
Not Stated 8 1 12.5 2 25.0 0 0.0 1 12.5 4 50.0
Total 20,595 12,324 59.8 4,739 23.0 1,388 6.7 960 4.7 1,184 5.7
OTHER
Under 20 364 177 48.6 131 36.0 36 9.9 6 1.6 14 3.8
20-24 1,200 810 67.5 270 22.5 66 5.5 18 1.5 36 3.0
25 & Over 7,407 5,882 79.4 983 13.3 232 3.1 26 0.4 284 3.8
Not Stated 3 1 33.3 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 2 66.7
Total 8,974 6,870 76.6 1,384 15.4 334 3.7 50 0.6 336 3.7
NOT STATED
Under 20 59 18 30.5 6 10.2 5 8.5 2 3.4 28 47.5
20-24 238 38 16.0 11 4.6 6 2.5 2 0.8 181 76.1
25 & Over 2,542 134 5.3 16 0.6 7 0.3 8 0.3 2,377 93.5
Not Stated 2 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 2 100.0
Total 2,841 190 6.7 33 1.2 18 0.6 12 0.4 2,588 91.1
TOTAL
Under 20 8,821 4,780 54.2 2,681 30.4 742 8.4 221 2.5 397 4.5
20-24 17,624 11,459 65.0 3,959 22.5 992 5.6 339 1.9 875 5.0
25 & Over 86,858 68,613 79.0 8,248 9.5 1,885 2.2 814 0.9 7,298 8.4
Not Stated 29 3 10.3 4 13.8 0 0.0 2 6.9 20 69.0
Total 113,332 84,855 74.9 14,892 13.1 3,619 3.2 1,376 1.2 8,590 7.6



TABLE N5A. RESIDENT BIRTHS TO MOTHERS OF HISPANIC ORIGIN BY AGE OF MOTHER AND ONSET OF PRENATAL CARE
NEW JERSEY, 1997

AGE GROUP

TOTAL BIRTHS

TRIMESTER PRENATAL CARE BEGAN
FIRST SECOND THIRD NO CARE NOT STATED
NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT
UNDER 20 2,930 1,665 56.8 910 31.1 249 8.5 35 1.2 71 2.4
20-24 5,343 3,469 64.9 1,364 25.5 332 6.2 65 1.2 113 2.1
25 & OVER 11,068 8,255 74.6 1,997 18.0 416 3.8 86 0.8 314 2.8
NOT STATED 2 0 0.0 1 50.0 0 0.0 1 50.0 0 0.0
TOTAL 19,343 13,389 69.2 4,272 22.1 997 5.2 187 1.0 498 2.6



TABLE N5B. RESIDENT BIRTHS TO UNMARRIED MOTHERS BY AGE OF MOTHER AND ONSET OF PRENATAL CARE
NEW JERSEY, 1997

AGE GROUP

TOTAL BIRTHS

TRIMESTER PRENATAL CARE BEGAN
FIRST SECOND THIRD NO CARE NOT STATED
NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT
UNDER 20 7,909 4,238 53.6 2,449 31.0 680 8.6 215 2.7 327 4.1
20-24 10,342 6,232 60.3 2,683 25.9 718 6.9 305 2.9 404 3.9
25 & OVER 13,085 8,130 62.1 2,850 21.8 762 5.8 692 5.3 651 5.0
NOT STATED 9 0 0.0 1 11.1 0 0.0 2 22.2 6 66.7
TOTAL 31,345 18,600 59.3 7,983 25.5 2,160 6.9 1,214 3.9 1,388 4.4



TABLE N6. RESIDENT BIRTHS BY MOTHER'S EDUCATION AND ONSET OF PRENATAL CARE
NEW JERSEY, 1997
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 84,855 8,738 56.7 25,332 76.0 19,559 82.0 29,755 89.5 1,471 19.6
Second Trimester 14,892 4,346 28.2 5,233 15.7 2,784 11.7 2,048 6.2 481 6.4
Third Trimester 3,619 1,210 7.9 1,228 3.7 582 2.4 443 1.3 156 2.1
No Care 1,376 589 3.8 515 1.5 133 0.6 30 0.1 109 1.5
Not Stated 8,590 529 3.4 1,036 3.1 793 3.3 954 2.9 5,278 70.4
TOTAL 113,332 15,412 100.0 33,344 100.0 23,851 100.0 33,230 100.0 7,495 100.0


Medical Risk Factors of the Pregnancy

Birth outcomes are affected by the presence of medical risk factors during pregnancy. In particular, the probability of poor outcomes is known to increase when certain risk factors exist and are not adequately treated during pregnancy (Ventura, S.J., et al., 1999).

The most frequently reported medical risk factor among New Jersey residents delivering in 1997 was diabetes with a rate of 36.0 per 1,000 live births. By race, the rates of diabetes were 69.6 for mothers of races other than white or black, 35.4 for blacks, and 33.6 for whites (Table N22). Among Hispanic mothers, the rate of diabetes was 37.7 (Table N22A).

Pregnancy-associated hypertension was the second most frequently reported medical risk factor in 1997. Among New Jersey resident mothers, the rate of pregnancy-associated hypertension was 27.6 per 1,000 live births. Pregnancy-associated hypertension rates by race were 34.7 for blacks, 27.5 for whites, and 20.2 for other races (Table N22). The rate for mothers of Hispanic origin was 25.1 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 26.3 per 1,000 live births. Rates of non-herpes STDs varied substantially by race: 76.1 for blacks, 15.9 for whites, and 13.8 for other races (Table N22). Non-herpes STDs were reported for mothers of Hispanic origin at a rate of 34.7 per 1,000 live births (Table N22A).

The most frequently reported medical risk factors among blacks were somewhat different than for the population as a whole in New Jersey. The most reported factor among black mothers was sexually transmitted diseases other than genital herpes with a rate of 76.1 per 1,000 live births. Second was acute or chronic lung disease (39.4 per 1,000 live births). Diabetes was the third most frequent risk factor at a rate of 35.4 per 1,000 live births. The rates for these three medical risk factors for the entire state were 26.3, 25.6, and 36.0, 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 (37.7), sexually-transmitted diseases other than genital herpes (34.7), and acute or chronic lung disease (28.8). The New Jersey total rates for these three factors were 36.0, 26.3, and 25.6 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 47.9 per 1,000 mothers aged 15 through 19 had acute or chronic lung disease compared with a rate of 25.6 for all mothers and 33.4 per 1,000 mothers aged 15 through 19 were anemic, while the rate for all mothers was 15.3 (Table N22B).

Complications of Labor and/or Delivery

There were 49,268 births (43.5%) in 1997 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 (66.2), fetal distress (53.7), and precipitous labor less than three hours (44.6). 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: 97.3 vs. 60.8 and 62.5, respectively. Black mothers also had a considerably higher rate of fetal distress: 72.4 per 1,000 live births versus 50.0 for white mothers and 59.4 for mothers of races other than white or black (Table N23). Increases in rates for many types of complications versus the rates from 1996 and prior are likely due to the improved capture of data from the Electronic Birth Certificate. Also, the substantial decrease in the rate of other excessive bleeding (61.8 in 1996 vs. 22.0 in 1997) is due to a cross-edit in the EBC software that does not allow this complication to be selected unless blood loss greater than or equal to 750 cc for vaginal deliveries and 1,200 cc for cesarean deliveries is entered.

Obstetric Procedures

In 1997, 104,481 New Jersey resident mothers (92.2%) had electronic fetal monitoring performed. By race, 94.1 percent of white, 94.9 percent of black, and 95.6 percent of other race mothers had this obstetric procedure performed. The second most frequently performed obstetric procedure was ultrasound: 65,887 births or 58.1 percent. This procedure was performed on 58.0 percent of white mothers, 67.7 percent of black mothers, and 53.4 percent of other race mothers (Table N24).


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