Friday, August 28, 2009

Uh... duh: Births Decline in Most Areas Hardest Hit by Hurricane Katrina

OK, ya'll tell me if you couldn't figure this one out for yourselves...

Births Decline in Most Areas Hardest Hit by Hurricane Katrina

Births in most of the Gulf Coast areas hit by Hurricane Katrina plunged
in the 12 months following the deadly storm, according to a report from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, "The Effect
of Hurricane Katrina: Births in the U.S. Gulf Coast Region, Before and
After the Storm," examines birth certificates for the 12 months
preceding Katrina and the 12 months following the storm, (Aug. 29, 2004
to Aug. 28, 2006). The data cover residents in the 91 Federal Emergency
Management Agency- designated counties and parishes of Alabama,
Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Special detailed data are presented in an interactive map for 14
selected FEMA-designated coastal counties and parishes within a 100 mile
radius of the storm's path
(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/data/map/HurricaneMap.htm).

Key findings include:

* The number of births in the 14 counties and parishes decreased 19
percent in the year after Katrina compared with the previous year.
Births decreased by 30 percent for the selected parishes in Louisiana
and 13 percent for the selected counties in Mississippi but increased by
6 percent for the selected counties in Alabama.

* The number of births to non-Hispanic black women in the selected
parishes of Louisiana fell substantially (51 percent) after the storm.
Births were also down for non-Hispanic white (14 percent), Hispanic (21
percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander (34 percent) women.

* In Orleans Parish, the central parish of New Orleans, the proportion
of births to non-Hispanic black women fell from 78 percent of total
births before the storm to 60 percent in the year after Katrina hit.

* The proportion of births to teens for these 14 selected counties and
parishes were unchanged after the storm, except in the selected parishes
in Louisiana, where they decreased 11 percent.

* Cesarean deliveries for the 14 selected counties and parishes rose by
10 percent in the Alabama and Mississippi counties and 6 percent in the
Louisiana parishes.

The full report is available at www.cdc.gov/nchs.

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