Oklahoma

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 Oklahoma were limited to a few objectives and findings were mixed. Encouraging findings include decreases in overall mortality for younger and older adolescents, and in suicide mortality for older adolescents. However, rates increased for overall mortality among young adults, motor vehicle crash mortality and homicide. Because baseline data were not available for most objectives, change in most areas could not be evaluated.

Oklahoma compared unfavorably to national rates for most objectives, including suicide attempts requiring medical attention, all reproductive health objectives, and tobacco use, as well as overall mortality, motor vehicle crash mortality and suicide. Oklahoma has similar rates to national rates for safely belt use and the three violence-related objectives: homicide, physical fighting, and weapon carrying. Oklahoma’s fared better than the nation on just one objective: riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

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 Oklahoma decreased among younger and older adolescents, but increased among young adults. Rates decreased among Black young adults, with a particularly large decrease among Black male young adults.  In 2007, mortality rates among males were more than twice the rates among females. Among older adolescents, Blacks had a higher rate than Whites; among young adults, Blacks also had the highest rate, followed by Whites, then Hispanics.

Comparison with national data. As in Oklahoma, national mortality rates decreased for younger and older adolescents, and increased among young adults. Also similar to Oklahoma, rates among Black young adults decreased. In 2007, Oklahoma mortality rates were higher than national rates, overall and for most subgroups with available data. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns mostly matched those noted for Oklahoma, with one exception. Among young adults nationally, Hispanics had a higher rate than Whites, the reverse of the pattern noted for Oklahoma.

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 Oklahoma due to motor vehicle crashes increased slightly from baseline, due to small increase among young adults; the rate among males increased substantially. In 2007, males had about twice the rate of females.

Comparison with national data. National adolescent motor vehicle mortality was flat overall compared to a slight increase in Oklahoma. In 2007, overall motor vehicle crash mortality for Oklahoma was higher than the national rate. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted for Oklahoma.

Rates of safety belt use in Oklahoma were slightly higher among females than males. Native American youths had the highest rates, followed by Whites and adolescent of multiple races; differences among these groups were very small. Hispanics and Blacks had similar rates of safety belt use, which were the lowest among racial/ethnic groups.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the overall rate of adolescent safety belt use in Oklahoma was just slightly higher than the national rate. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted at the state level. Unlike Oklahoma, Hispanics had the highest rate of safety belt use, followed by Whites, and adolescents of multiple races; Blacks had the next highest rate, and Native Americans had the lowest rate among all groups. As in Oklahoma, racial/ethnic differences in safety belt were small.

Rates of adolescents in Oklahoma who report riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol were roughly equal for females and males in 2009. Blacks and Hispanics had very similar rates, which were the highest among racial/ethnic groups. Whites and adolescent of multiple races has similar rates, which were the lowest among racial/ethnic groups.

Comparison with national data. The Oklahoma rate of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol was lower than the national rate in 2009. As in Oklahoma, males and females had roughly matching rates nationally. Unlike Oklahoma, Hispanics had the highest rates nationally, followed by adolescent of multiple races, then Blacks; differences among these three groups were small. As in Oklahoma, Whites had the lowest rate.

Violence

(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)

The homicide rate increased slightly among older adolescents and among males in that ages group. Rates were based on fewer than 20 deaths and thus were unsuitable for analyses.

Comparison with national data. The national homicide rate for older adolescents was flat overall compared to a slight increase in Oklahoma. In 2007, Oklahoma’s homicide rate for this age group was slightly higher than the national rate.

Oklahoma rates of physical fighting were much higher among males than females in 2009. Blacks had the highest rate, followed by adolescents of multiple races, and Hispanics. Native Americans and Whites had similar rates, the lowest among racial/ethnic groups.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the overall rate of physical fighting in Oklahoma roughly matched the national rate; the rate for American Indian/Alaskan Natives in Oklahoma was much lower than the nationally rate. Nationally, Blacks and Native Americans had roughly matching rates that were the highest among racial/ethnic groups. They were followed by Hispanics and adolescents of multiple races; Whites had the lowest rates. As in Oklahoma, males had much higher rates than females, nationally.

Rates of weapon carrying among male adolescents in Oklahoma in 2009 were nearly four times the rate of females. Adolescent of multiple races had the highest rates, followed by Native Americans, Whites and Blacks; these three groups had very similar rates. Hispanics had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 national rate of weapon carrying among adolescents was roughly equal to the Oklahoma rate at baseline. As in Oklahoma, males had nearly four times the rate of females. Also similar to Oklahoma, most racial/ethnic differences were fairly small; however, the pattern among groups was different. Nationally, Native Americans had the highest rates, followed very closely by Whites, adolescents of multiple races and Hispanics. Blacks had the lowest rates.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

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

In 2009, rates of binge drinking in Oklahoma were slightly higher among males than females. Whites had the highest rate, followed closely by Hispanics and adolescents of multiple races; Blacks had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. Males and females had roughly equal rates of binge drinking nationally, in contrast to slightly higher rates for males than females in Oklahoma. The national racial/ethnic pattern roughly matched the pattern noted for Oklahoma.

Males and females had similar rates of marijuana use in Oklahoma in 2009, with just a slightly higher rate among males. Blacks had by far the highest rate, followed by Whites and adolescents of multiple races, who had roughly matching rates. Hispanics had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted for Oklahoma. Nationally, Whites had the highest rate, followed by adolescents of multiple races, then Blacks. As in Oklahoma, Hispanics had lowest rates of marijuana.

The rate of suicide in Oklahoma decreased from baseline among older adolescents, with data suggesting a large decrease among White males in that age group.

Comparison with national data. The national suicide rate for older adolescents decreased very slightly from baseline, in contrast to a large decrease in Oklahoma. In 2007, the Oklahoma suicide rate for older adolescents was slightly higher than the national rate.

The rate of adolescent suicide attempts in Oklahoma requiring medical attention was higher among females than males in 2009. Hispanics had the highest rate, followed by adolescents of multiple races, then Whites; differences in rates are fairly small.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the Oklahoma rate of adolescent suicide attempts requiring medical attention was higher than the national rate. As in Oklahoma, females had a higher rate than males nationally. Adolescents of multiple races had the highest rates nationally, followed by Hispanics and Whites, a pattern that differed slightly from the pattern in Oklahoma.

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).

Oklahoma rates of adolescents having engaged in sexual intercourse were roughly matching for males and females. Blacks and Hispanic had similar rates that were the highest among racial/ethnic groups. Adolescents of multiple races had the next highest rate and Whites had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, adolescents in Oklahoma had higher rates of sexual experience than adolescents nationally. As in Oklahoma, males and females had roughly matching rates. Blacks had by far the highest rate nationally, followed by Hispanics; this pattern differs from the similar rates noted in Oklahoma. Adolescents of multiple races had the next highest rate, followed by Whites, as in Oklahoma.

In 2009, rates of sexually experienced adolescents in Oklahoma reporting current sexual activity were similar for males and females. Blacks had by far the highest rate, followed by Hispanics. Whites and adolescents of multiple races had similar rates, the lowest rates among racial/ethnic groups.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the Oklahoma rate of currently sexually active adolescents was higher than the national rate; the rate for Hispanics in Oklahoma was much higher than the national rate for that group. Nationally, females had a higher rate than males, in contrast to matching rates in Oklahoma. Nationally Blacks had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics, Whites and adolescents of multiple races, with these three groups having similar rates. In Oklahoma, by contrast, Hispanics had much higher rates than Whites and adolescents of multiple races.

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

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of adolescent condom use in Oklahoma was slightly lower than the national rate.  As in Oklahoma, males had higher rates than females, nationally.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(tobacco use)

In 2009, rates of tobacco use in Oklahoma were higher among males than females. Adolescents of multiple races and Whites had matching rates, the highest among racial/ethnic groups. Hispanics had the next highest rates, followed by Blacks.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the Oklahoma rate of tobacco use was higher than the national rate. As in Oklahoma, males had higher rates than females nationally. Whites had higher rates than adolescents of multiple races nationally, in contrast to matching rates in Oklahoma. As in Oklahoma, rates for these two groups were followed by Hispanics, then Blacks.

Additional data may be available at: Oklahoma Child and Family Health Services