Reported sexually transmitted disease clinic attendance and sexually transmitted infections in britain: prevalence, risk factors, and proportionate population burden.
This paper reviews national routine data pertaining to sexual ill health among teenagers in England and Wales; birth and termination statistics from the Office for National Statistics; and reports from sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics. There were 86,174 conceptions among females under age 20 in 1996, of which 30,296 were terminated and 55,878 led to still or live births. Rates of pregnancy termination among teenagers rose in 1996 compared with 1995--by 14.5% in under-16 year olds and by 12.5% in 16-19 year olds. Maternity rates also rose in the two age groups, by 6.7% and 4.6%, respectively. When data were combined for 1995-96 and analyzed by health district for females under age 16 (a Health of the Nation indicator), substantial inequalities were found. Termination rates varied from 2.2 to 10.5 per 1000 and live births from 1.1 to 9.9 per 1000, the highest rates being in urban districts. Teenage birth rates in England and Wales were the highest in western Europe. There were 2272 cases of gonorrhea reported among teenagers aged 16-19 years attending STD clinics in 1996. Compared to 1995 data, the numbers increased by 34% in women and 30% in men. Sexual health should be a priority for coordinated national and local health promotion among young people.