Colorado

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 Colorado are encouraging with overall mortality decreasing from baseline across all age groups, and reductions in rates of mortality resulting from motor vehicle crashes, homicide, and suicide. Baseline data were not available for most objectives.

Colorado fared better than or equal to the nation on most objectives.  Rates were better for overall mortality, mortality due to motor vehicle crashes, safety belt use, riding with a driver who has been drinking, sexual experience, current sexual activity, and condom use; similar for fighting, weapon carrying and tobacco use; and less encouraging than national rates only for the mental health area — suicide rate among older adolescents and suicide attempts requiring medical attention.

Highlights of Findings by Objective

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

Mortality

At final, the rate of overall mortality in Colorado showed a decline from baseline among young and older adolescents, as well as young adults.  The decline was most striking among older adolescents.  The decrease was evident among males and females across all age categories, and most racial/ethnic groups.

Comparison with national data. The decrease in mortality rates among young and older adolescents in Colorado was consistent with a decrease in overall adolescent mortality in national rates.  While the overall rates for young adults nationally did not reflect the same overall positive trend of Colorado, nationally there were decreases in mortality among Black and Native American male and female young adults. The rate of overall mortality for Colorado was lower than the national rate.

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 Colorado due to motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) decreased among both adolescents and young adults at final. This decrease was reflected in both male and female rates and across racial/ethnic groups. Mortality due to MVCs was about twice as high for males than for females.

Comparison with national data. MVC mortality rates in Colorado were lower than the national rate at final among both adolescents and young adults.  Compared to national data, rates were lower in Colorado for both males and females, and across racial/ethnic groups.  National data reflected a similar gender pattern with greater than twice as many MVC deaths for males compared to females.

Rates of safety belt use in Colorado were higher among female adolescents than males and higher among Whites compared to Hispanics.

Comparison with national data. Adolescents in Colorado were more likely to use seat belts than adolescents nationally at final. The rate of safety belt use among Whites was higher in Colorado than nationally; however use of seatbelts among Hispanics in Colorado was lower than national rates. National gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar to the patterns in Colorado.

Among Colorado’s adolescents, females were slightly more likely than males to report riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol; Hispanics were more likely to report this behavior than Whites.

Comparison with national data. Colorado rates of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol were a little lower than national rates at final. Unlike the pattern in Colorado, males and females had matching rates nationally. Similar to Colorado, Hispanics had a higher rate than Whites nationally.

Violence

(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)

Data suggest a decrease in homicide mortality for older adolescents.

Comparison with national data. The overall trend of decreasing rates of adolescent homicide in Colorado was consistent with the overall trend for adolescents nationally.

Adolescent males in Colorado were nearly twice as likely as females to engage in physical fighting in 2009. Hispanics were somewhat more likely than Whites to do so.

Comparison with national data. At final, the overall rate of physical fighting among adolescents in Colorado was similar to the national rate, as were the gender and racial/ethnic patterns.

At final, rates of weapon carrying among adolescent males in Colorado were three times that of females, with similar rates for Whites and Hispanics.

Comparison with national data. Rates of weapon carrying in Colorado were very close to the national rate.  The discrepancy by sex noted at the state level was even larger at the national level, and the similar rates for Whites and Hispanics was also reflected at the national level.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

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

At final, females in Colorado were more likely to report binge drinking than males. The disparity among Hispanics was greater than the disparity among Whites, where rates were the same between females and males.  While the overall rate for Hispanics and Whites were fairly close, Hispanic females had the highest rates of binge drinking.

Comparison with national data. Nationally, the rate of binge drinking for males roughly matched the rate for females, in contrast to Colorado, where females reported higher rates. Nationally, the rate for Hispanics was just under or roughly matched the rate for Whites, in contrast to Colorado, where Hispanics reported higher rates than Whites.

The overall rate of marijuana use for male adolescents in Colorado was just slightly higher than the rate for females. Rates for Hispanics were a little higher than rates for Whites.

Comparison with national data. The pattern of the national rate of marijuana use was similar to Colorado with the male rate slightly higher than the female rate. Nationally, Hispanics reported slightly lower rates than Whites, the reverse of the pattern noted in Colorado.

From baseline to final, suicide rates decreased among older adolescents overall, and among older adolescent males.

Comparison with national data.  As with rates in Colorado, national trends also reflected a decrease in rates of adolescent suicide. The suicide rate among Colorado’s older adolescents and particularly among older adolescent males was higher at final than the national rate.

Females at final had higher rates of suicide attempts requiring medical attention as males in Colorado.  The rates for Hispanics and Whites were quite similar; however Hispanic females had the highest rates.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate among adolescents in Colorado of suicide attempts requiring medical attention was higher than the national rate in 2009. Nationally, Hispanics reported higher rates of this behavior than Whites, in contrast to the overall similar rates between Hispanics and Whites in Colorado.

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).

The number of Colorado adolescents who reported at final having engaged in sexual intercourse was higher among males, compared to females and higher among Hispanics, compared to Whites.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of adolescents in Colorado having engaged in sexual intercourse was somewhat lower than the national average in 2009. Males and females had matching rates nationally, in contrast to the higher rate among males at the state level. As in Colorado, Hispanics had a higher rate than Whites nationally.

The 2009 rate of sexually experienced adolescents reporting current sexual activity was higher among males than females and higher among Hispanics than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of adolescents in Colorado reporting current sexual activity was lower than the national rate, although the rate for Hispanic males was slightly higher in Colorado than nationally. Nationally, females reported higher rates of sexual activity, whereas in Colorado, males reported higher rates. As in Colorado, Hispanics had a higher rate than Whites nationally.

The 2009 rate of adolescent condom use in Colorado was higher among males than females.

Comparison with national data. Rates of condom use among adolescents in Colorado were a little higher than national rates; the higher use among males matched the national pattern.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(tobacco use)

Tobacco use rates among males in Colorado were higher than among females, with equal overall rates among Whites and Hispanics.  White males had the highest rates of tobacco use.

Comparison with national data. The final rate of tobacco use in Colorado virtually matched the national rate. In Colorado, the overall rate for Whites was a little lower than national rates and for Hispanics, the rate was a little higher. The somewhat higher rates of tobacco use among male versus female adolescents in Colorado matched the national pattern. However, Whites had a higher rate than Hispanics nationally, in contrast to similar rates in Colorado.

Additional data may be available at: http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/ps/adolschool/healthyyouthcolorado