Trends in adolescent pregnancies at Tygerberg Hospital, 1976-1980

Prinsloo, F. R. (1984)

CITATION: Prinsloo, F. R. Trends in adolescent pregnancies at Tygerberg Hospital, 1976-1980. South African Medical Journal, 65:695-699.

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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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