Arkansas

Please be sure to read the data notes & limitations page. This explains many aspects of these comments, including how only changes over time can be discussed as statistically significant, and why the comparisons with national rates only discuss data for selected subgroups.

Overview of Findings

Findings for Arkansas’s changes from baseline to final were mixed. Encouraging news includes decreases in overall and suicide mortality for some age groups, and rates of riding with a drinking driver, marijuana use, binge drinking, and tobacco use.  However, motor vehicle mortality increased as did suicide attempts requiring medical attention among Whites. Safety belt use, physical fighting, weapon carrying, sexual activity, and condom use remained essentially unchanged from baseline.

Final rates for most Arkansas objectives compared unfavorably with national rates. Final rates of riding with a drinking driver and condom use roughly matched national rates for those objectives.

Highlights of Findings by objective

Jump To: Mortality; Unintentional Injury; Violence; Substance Use and Mental Health; Reproductive Health; Chronic Disease Prevention

Mortality

The rate of overall mortality in Arkansas decreased from baseline for younger and older adolescents, but increased among young adults. This pattern was consistent for males and females, and Whites. By contrast, mortality decreased among Black young adults. In 2007, rates for males had higher mortality rates than females. Blacks had higher rates than Whites.

Comparison with national data. Nationally, mortality also declined among younger and older adolescents. There was a slight increase for young adults, in contrast to the larger increase in Arkansas. A decrease among young adult Black males mirrored that pattern noted for Arkansas. In 2007, the overall mortality rates in Arkansas were higher than the national rate. National gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar to those noted for Arkansas.

Unintentional Injury

(motor vehicle crashes, safety belt use, & riding with a driver who has been drinking alcohol)  Please note the data for safety belt use are presented as “not wearing safety belt,” the inverse of the objective.

Adolescent mortality in Arkansas due to motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) increased from baseline, with large increases among females, especially White females. In 2007, males had higher rates than females; Whites had higher rates than Blacks.

Comparison with national data. National adolescent motor vehicle mortality overall was flat from baseline compared to an increase in Arkansas. Similarly, rates decreased slightly for White females nationally, compared to an increase for that group in Arkansas. Arkansas rates were nearly double the national rates. National gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar to those noted for Arkansas.

Overall rates of safety belt use in Arkansas did not change significantly from baseline.  Rates increased for White males. In 2009, females had higher rates than males. Whites had slightly higher rates of safety belt use than Hispanics and much higher rates than Blacks.

Comparison with national data. National rates of safety belt use increased substantially nationally, in contrast to no changes in Arkansas. Rates improved for almost all subgroups. As in Arkansas, rates increased for White males.  In 2009, national rates were higher than Arkansas rates. Nationally, females had higher rates than males, as noted in Arkansas. However, racial/ethnic differences were fairly small and followed a different pattern than Arkansas: Hispanics had the highest rates, followed by Whites and Blacks.

Reported rates of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol decreased among Arkansas adolescents. Rates decreased for all males, and for White males, and an especially large decrease among Black males. Rates also decreased for Whites overall. In 2009, males and females had virtually equal rates. Blacks had by far the highest rates; Hispanic and Whites had very similar rates.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol also declined from baseline, with declines also seen for all males, White males and all Whites. The rate for Black males did not change, in contrast to the large decline in Arkansas. In 2009, the rate for Arkansas was equal to the national rate. Nationally, males and females had similar rates, as in Arkansas. However, nationally, Hispanics had the highest rates, followed by Blacks, then Whites, in contrast to the pattern noted for Arkansas.

Violence

(Physical fighting, weapon carrying)

The Arkansas rate of physical fighting did not change significantly from baseline. In 2009, males had higher rates than females. Blacks had somewhat higher rates than Hispanics and substantially higher rates than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of physical fighting decreased, in contrast to the flat rate in Arkansas. In 2009, the national rate was slightly lower than the rate in Arkansas. National patterns by gender and race/ethnicity were similar to those in Arkansas.

The overall rate of weapon carrying among adolescents in Arkansas was unchanged from baseline. In 2009, males had more than three times the rate of females; Hispanics had slightly higher rates than Whites and Blacks, whose rates were virtually the same.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of weapon carrying was also unchanged from baseline. In 2009, the national rate was slightly lower than the rate in Arkansas. Males had much higher rates of weapon carrying, as in Arkansas. Nationally, Whites has the highest rates, following by Hispanics and Blacks, in contrast to the pattern noted for in Arkansas.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

(binge drinking, marijuana use, suicide, suicide attempts requiring medical attention)

Rates of binge drinking in Arkansas decreased substantially from baseline, with significant declines for males overall, White males, all Whites and all Blacks. In 2009, males and females had the same rates. Whites had highest rates, followed by Hispanics and Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of adolescent binge drinking nationally declined from baseline as in Arkansas. The pattern of rates among gender and racial/ethnic groups nationally roughly matched the pattern among those groups in Arkansas.

Rates of marijuana use in Arkansas decreased from baseline. Rates decreased significantly among Whites and males overall, with a substantial decrease among White males. In 2009, males had slightly higher rates of marijuana use than females. Blacks had higher rates than Whites.

Comparison with national data. At final, rates of marijuana use also declined nationally.  As in Arkansas, national rates among males were higher than among females.  Nationally as in Arkansas, Whites had higher rates of use than Blacks.

The rate of suicide in Arkansas decreased substantially from baseline, so that rates at final were based on fewer than 20 cases, thus not amenable to comparative analysis.

Comparison with national data. The national suicide rate decreased slightly from baseline compared to a larger decrease for Arkansas.  National rates at final were higher in Arkansas than nationally.

The rate of adolescent suicide attempts requiring medical attention in Arkansas increased for Whites as a group, and specifically for White males.  In 2009, males had higher rates than females, and Hispanics had the highest rates of suicide attempts, with Black and White rates roughly equal.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of adolescent suicide attempts requiring medical attention decreased overall from baseline nationally in contrast to no significant change in overall rates in Arkansas and the increase among Whites.  In 2009, the Arkansas rate for this objective was three times the national rate. In Arkansas, Hispanics had about two times the rate of Blacks and Whites, whereas nationally Hispanics and Blacks had close to equal rates, with Whites somewhat lower.

Reproductive Health

(sexual inexperience, no current sexual activity, condom use)

Please note that for the first two objectives, the text and tables present findings about adolescents who are sexually experienced and currently sexually active, the inverse of the actual objective.  For the third objective, the table presents findings for lack of condom use, the inverse of the objective. (See Data Notes & Limitations).

Arkansas overall rates of being sexually experienced were flat from baseline; however rates decreased significantly for Black females. In 2009, males had a slightly higher rate than females. Blacks had the highest rates followed by Hispanics and Whites.

Comparison with national data. Nationally, rates of being sexually experienced were also flat. Nationally, Black females did not experience a significant decline, in contrast to Arkansas. In 2009, Arkansas had a somewhat higher rate than the national rate. Males and females had similar rates nationally, in contrast to a small difference noted for Arkansas. The national racial/ethnic pattern matched the pattern noted for Arkansas.

Arkansas rates of sexually experienced adolescents engaging in current sexual activity were flat from baseline. Rates decreased significantly for Black females. Males and females reported very similar rates. Blacks had the highest rates followed by Hispanics and Whites.

Comparison with national data. National rates of current sexual activity were also flat from baseline. Nationally, Black females did not experience a significant decline, in contrast to Arkansas. In 2009, Arkansas had a slightly higher rate than the national rate. Females reported slightly higher rates than males nationally, in contrast to very similar rates noted for Arkansas. The national racial/ethnic pattern matched the pattern noted for Arkansas.

Rates of adolescent condom use in Arkansas were flat from baseline. Males reported much higher rates than females.

Comparison with national data. National rates of condom use were also flat from baseline. In 2009, rates of condom use in Arkansas were very similar to national rates. As in Arkansas, males also reported higher rates than females nationally, although the difference was smaller.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(Tobacco use)

Tobacco use in Arkansas decreased substantially from baseline overall. Significant declines also occurred for all males and females and all Whites, including both White males and females. In 2009, males had higher rates of tobacco use than females; Whites had much higher rates than Blacks.

Comparison with national data. National rates of tobacco use among adolescents also decreased considerably from baseline. In 2009, the rate for Arkansas virtually matched the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for Arkansas.

Additional data may be available at: http://www.healthyarkansas.com/