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Revista médica de Chile

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MOLINA C, Ramiro; MOLINA G, Temístocles  and  GONZALEZ A, Electra. Teenage fecundity rates in Chile: A serious public health problem. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2007, vol.135, n.1, pp.79-86. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Teenage fecundity rates are an indicator of epidemiological discrimination in developing countries. Aim: To study fertility rates of girls under 14 years of age in Chile from 1993 to 2003. Material and methods: Information of children born alive from mothers aged 10 to 15 years, was obtained from the Chilean National Institute of Statistics. Age segmented population data was obtained from the Ministry of Health. Trends were analyzed by regions and single ages. The rates in communities of the Metropolitan Region were compared. Results: Between 1993 and 2003, there was an increasing trend in fecundity rates, ratios and crude numbers. These rates duplicate from 14 to 15 years of age. In the Metropolitan Region, the fecundity ratios of communities with lower economical incomes is seven times greater than those with higher incomes. During 2003, the fecundity rates in Chile were 100 and 10 higher than those of Holland and Sweden in 1981. Conclusions: In developing countries with very low infant mortality rates such as Chile, the high fecundity rates of young girls is an indicator of a deficient human and social development. Sexual Education and Health Services for adolescents are essential to prevent this public health problem

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