Trends in adolescent pregnancies at Tygerberg Hospital, 1976-1980

Prinsloo F.R. (1984)

Article

Article

This study was undertaken to highlight trends relating to pregnancies among females aged less than 21 years seen at Tygerberg Hospital, Parowvallei, CP, during the 5-year period 1976-1980 inclusive. There was a fairly steady decline in the pregnancy rate for Coloured adolescents over this period. The rate for Black adolescents increased after a 3-year decline, and that for Whites also increased after a 2-year drop. The caesarean section rate increased after a marked drop in 1978, both in White adolescents and in the White group as a whole, possibly due to an increase in the instrumental delivery rate in 1978. The caesarean section rate has increased steadily among non-Whites, while the forceps delivery rate for non-Whites declined to below the normal level of 15% and that for Whites fell after a steep increase in 1978. Vacuum extractions appeared to be very popular during the first 3 years, but the rates declined rapidly towards 1979-1980, particularly in the White group. Pre-eclamptic toxaemia remains a problem among White adolescents. Among both Whites and non-Whites 1978 seems to have been a disastrous year as far as the outcome of pregnancies is concerned, with an increase in the incidence of miscarriage. A drop in the non-White stillbirth rate in 1978 was followed by a sharp rise in 1979-1980. The incidence of abruptio placentae and placenta praevia rose in 1978, but in 1979-1980 dropped to below 10% for Whites and to below 15% for non-Whites. Premature deliveries are still common among non-Whites, with average incidences of 23% for the 5-year period for non-Whites and 8.5% for Whites. Pregnancy rates for unmarried Coloured and Black adolescents remain high, and the rate for Whites increased slightly over the 5-year period.

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