Teen births down, but more complicated

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Published: May. 24, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The number of teenagers giving birth is declining in the United States.

A study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology speculates that teens are becoming more savvy when it comes to birth control, and the Affordable Care Act made contraception more affordable.

However, those pregnancies that do occur in pediatric patients between the ages of 11 and 19 tend to be more complicated. The study indicates that more teen mothers are obese or have emotional health issues and require more of the doctor’s time.

They also have a greater tendency to lack stable housing and have food insecurity. Despite dropping rates, about 80 percent of teen pregnancies are unintended in the United States.

High Cost of Vision Care Causes Health Problems

The Vision Council of America says 75 percent of adults need some sort of vision correction, but one in 10 can’t afford glasses. A recent article on the JAMA Network points out that there is a huge markup on eyeglasses.

Consumer Reports set the median price per pair in 2019 at $234 but says they cost just a fraction of that to produce.

The JAMA article indicates uncorrected vision not only contributes to lost productivity, but also is associated with health problems such as depression, dementia, automobile accidents, and even heart disease and cancer. The article urges better insurance coverage to help fill in the gap.

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