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Fewer Teens Giving Birth In Klickitat County

Health Foundation offers annual profiles.

The Washington Health Foundation reports in its annual profiles of Washington State counties that there were more births during 1998-2000 than in the previous three-year study, but that fewer teens were giving those births.

Per 1,000 females ages 15-44, 67.9 gave birth compared to 65.9 in 1997-1999. But the numbers dwindled for teens, giving just 25.4 births per 1,000 females age 15-17, down from 27.2.

In addition, just 14.7 percent of mothers said they smoked during their pregnancies, continuing a downward trend from 19.9 percent in 1997-1999 and 21.7 percent in 1996-1998.

Although Klickitat County does as well as or better than the rest of the state by most health measures in the report, the death rate due to unintentional injuries (which includes motor vehicle accidents) is significantly higher.

Unintentional injury accounted for 70 deaths per 100,000 people in Klickitat County from 1998-200, compared to 46/100,000 in all rural counties and 34.6/100,000 statewide.

Health Profile for Klickitat County was prepared by the nonprofit health organization to provide insight into the health of residents of Washington state's 39 counties.

The profile highlights a variety of health indicators, as well as changes in population, income levels and unemployment rates.

Data for individual county health profiles were culled from a variety of sources, including Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Department of Health, U.S. Census Bureau, and the Washington State Almanac.

In the individual profiles, county data are compared with those of similarly sized counties and the entire state.

"These statistics give community groups and individuals the information they need to improve their health," said Greg Vigdor, president of the Washington Health Foundation. "In its role as a connector of people and ides, the Foundation offers the profiles as a starting point, a model of the kinds of information and trends that communities can use to think about health in a broader manner."

Vigdor said a falloff in the economy made 2001 especially challenging for residents throughout the state.

"The resulting recession led to a variety of budget cuts in nearly every county," he said. "Health status is closely tied to economic vitality, quality of schools and other factors," he said. "We encourage people to look at these issues together as they work to improve health and the well-being of their communities."

The 39 County Health Profiles are available on the Washington Health Foundation Web site (www.wht.org) or they may be purchased in print from the foundation by calling (206) 216-2529.

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