Kentucky

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 discuss data for selected subgroups.

 

Overview of Findings

Data indicating changes for Kentucky were limited to a few objectives and findings were somewhat discouraging. Rates remained flat for overall mortality among younger and older adolescents, as well as for mortality due to motor vehicle crashes and homicide. The rate of overall mortality increased for young adults; the rate of suicide increased slightly. Baseline data were not available for most objectives.

Kentucky compared favorably to the national rate for three objectives: riding with a driver who had been drinking, physical fighting, and homicide. Kentucky and national rates were similar for suicide and the three reproductive health objectives (sexual experience, current sexual activity and condom use). However, Kentucky compared unfavorably with the national rates of overall mortality and motor vehicle crash mortality, as well as safety belt use, weapon carrying, suicide attempts requiring medical attention, and tobacco use.

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 Kentucky changed little from baseline for younger and older adolescents, but increased somewhat among young adults, with an especially large increase among males. In 2007, males in Kentucky had more than twice the mortality rate of females for older adolescents and young adults.

Comparison with national data. National mortality rates declined from baseline for younger and older adolescents, in contrast to fairly flat rates in Kentucky. As in Kentucky, rates increased for young adults nationally, overall and among males; however the increase was much larger in Kentucky. The 2007 overall mortality rates for Kentucky remained substantially higher than the national rates, overall and for most subgroups in Kentucky.

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. This text describes safety belt use.

Adolescent mortality in Kentucky due to motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) changed very little from baseline, with very small decreases occurring among older adolescents and White adolescents and young males. In 2007, males had an MVC mortality rate nearly three times that of females.

Comparison with national data. National rates of MVC mortality were also fairly flat from baseline, with similarly small decreases among older adolescents and White adolescents and young males. In 2007, MVC mortality rates in Kentucky were slightly higher than more national rates.

In 2009, females in Kentucky had much higher rates of safety belt use than males and Whites had slightly higher rates than Blacks.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the Kentucky rate of safety belt use was lower than the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar to patterns noted for Kentucky, with slightly larger differences in Kentucky compared to national differences.

Reported rates of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol were slightly higher among males than females in 2009. Whites and Blacks had very similar rates.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 Kentucky rate of riding with a driver who had been drinking was lower than the national rate; the state’s rate for Blacks was much lower than the national rate for that group. Males and females had matching rates nationally, in contrast to slightly higher rates among males in Kentucky. Nationally, Blacks had a higher rate than Whites, in contrast to similar rates in Kentucky.

Violence

(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)

The overall rate of homicide among older adolescents was flat from baseline. Rates for other groups were based on fewer than 20 deaths; thus not suitable for analyses.

Comparison with national data. The national homicide rate was also flat from baseline. The 2007 homicide rate in Kentucky was slightly lower than the national rate.

In 2009, Kentucky males engaged in physical fighting at higher rates than females, and Blacks had higher rates than Whites.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the Kentucky rate of physical fighting was slightly lower than the national rate; the Kentucky rate for Blacks was much lower than the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns noted were similar to patterns noted for Kentucky.

In 2009, the rate of weapon carrying among males in Kentucky was more than three times the rate for females. Whites had about twice the rate of Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 rate of weapon carrying in Kentucky was slightly higher than the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar to patterns noted for Kentucky; the national racial/ethnic difference was much smaller than the gap in Kentucky.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

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

In 2009, rates of binge drinking in Kentucky were higher among males than females. Whites had a higher rate than Blacks.

Comparison with national data. Nationally, males and females had very similar rates, compared to higher rates for males in Kentucky. As in Kentucky, Whites had a higher rate than Blacks nationally.

In 2009, rates of marijuana use in Kentucky were higher among males than females. Blacks had a higher rate than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The national gender pattern was similar to the pattern noted in Kentucky. However, Whites had a higher rate than Blacks nationally, the reverse of the pattern in Kentucky.

The rate of adolescent suicide mortality among older adolescents in Kentucky increased slightly from baseline overall and among Whites.  Rates for all other groups were based on fewer than 20 deaths; thus not suitable for analyses.

Comparison with national data. The national suicide rate was essentially flat from baseline, in contrast to very small increases in Kentucky. Kentucky suicide rates were slightly higher than national rates overall, and among males and Whites overall.

In 2009, rates of adolescent suicide attempts in Kentucky requiring medical attention were similar for males and females. Whites and Blacks had roughly matching rates.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 Kentucky rate of suicide attempts requiring medical attention was higher than the national rate. Nationally, females had a higher rate than males, in contrast to similar rates in Kentucky. In addition, Blacks had a higher rate than Whites nationally, in contrast to matching rates in Kentucky.

Reproductive Health

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

Please note, 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. The text describes condom use. (See Data Notes & Limitations).

In 2009, males and females had roughly matching rates of having engaged in sexual intercourse. Blacks had a much higher rate than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 Kentucky rate of sexually experienced adolescents was similar to the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for Kentucky.

The rate of reported current sexual activity was higher among females than males in 2009. Blacks had a higher rate than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 Kentucky rate of current sexual activity roughly matched the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for Kentucky.

Rates of condom use in Kentucky were higher among males than females in 2009.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 rate of condom use in Kentucky roughly matched the national rate.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(tobacco use)

In 2009, the rate of tobacco use in Kentucky was much higher among males compared to females. The rate among Whites was higher than among Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 rate of tobacco use in Kentucky was much higher than the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns roughly matched the patterns noted in Kentucky.

Additional data may be available at: http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/dwh/teenpregnancy.htm