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Teenage pregnancies: who suffers?
  1. Shantini Paranjothy (paranjothys{at}cf.ac.uk)
  1. Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
    1. Hannah K Broughton (broughtonhk{at}cf.ac.uk)
    1. Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
      1. Roshan Adappa (roshan.adappa{at}gwent.wales.nhs.uk)
      1. Royal Gwent Hospital NHS Trust, United Kingdom
        1. David Fone (foned{at}cf.ac.uk)
        1. Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

          Abstract

          The UK is reported to have the highest rate of teenage pregnancies (girls aged 15-17 years) in Europe. In this review, we examine the epidemiology of teenage pregnancy in the UK and consider the evidence for its impact on the health and well-being of the mother, the baby, the father, and society. There has been little change in the teenage pregnancy rate over the last decade in the UK; rates are still considerably higher than those in other European countries. Pregnancy and childbirth during teenage years are associated with increased risk of poorer health and well-being for both the mother and the baby. However the reasons for this increased risk are not necessarily biological but may reflect the socio-economic factors that precede early pregnancy and childbirth. There is little evidence about the impact of teenage fatherhood on health and future studies should investigate this. The impact on society is a perpetuation of the widening gap in health and social inequalities. Public health interventions should aim to identify teenagers who are vulnerable and support those who are pregnant with evidence based interventions such as teenage antenatal clinics and access to initiatives that provide support for early parenthood.

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