Tennessee

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

Findings for Tennessee were mixed.  Overall mortality for younger and older adolescents decreased, while the rates for motor vehicle crash mortality, and homicide and suicide among older adolescents were flat. Overall mortality increased among young adults. Because baseline data were not available for most objectives, change in most areas could not be evaluated.

Final rates for most objectives in Tennessee compared unfavorably to national rates. Rates in Tennessee roughly matched national rates for homicide, suicide, safety belt use, and physical fighting. The Tennessee rate of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol compared favorably to the national rate.

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 among adolescents in Tennessee decreased for younger and older adolescents, but increased among young adults. A notable exception to this pattern was a sizable decrease in mortality among young adult Blacks, both for males and females. In 2007, males had more than twice the mortality rate of females among older adolescents and young adults. Racial/ethnic patterns differed among age groups. Among younger adolescents, Blacks had higher rates than Whites; the reverse was true among older adolescents. Among young adults, Hispanics had the highest rates, followed by Blacks, then Whites.

Comparison with national data. As in Tennessee, national mortality rates decreased for younger and older adolescents, and increased among young adults. Also similar to Tennessee, rates among Black young adults decreased. In 2007, rates of mortality in Tennessee were higher than national rates, substantially higher among older adolescents and young adults. The rate for Hispanic young adults in Tennessee two times the national rate for that group. The national gender pattern was similar to the pattern noted for Tennessee. National racial/ethnic patterns differed from patterns in Tennessee. Among young adults, Blacks had higher rates than Hispanics nationally, the reverse of the pattern noted for Tennessee; among older adolescents, Blacks had higher rates than Whites nationally, also the reverse of the pattern in Tennessee. As in Tennessee, Blacks had higher rates than Whites among younger adolescents nationally.

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 Tennessee due to motor vehicle crashes (MVC) was flat from baseline. In 2007, males had more than twice the MVC mortality of females. Whites had twice the rate of Blacks.

Comparison with national data. National adolescent motor vehicle crash mortality was also flat from baseline. In 2007, Tennessee’s MVC mortality was substantially higher than the national rate, due in part to a much larger rate among Whites in Tennessee. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar patterns noted in Tennessee, with a much smaller difference between Whites and Blacks nationally compared to Tennessee.

In 2009, rates of safety belt use in Tennessee were higher among females than males. Whites had a slightly higher rate than Blacks; Hispanics had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. Rates of safety belt use in Tennessee in 2009 virtually matched the national rate; the rate for Hispanics was somewhat lower in Tennessee than nationally. The gender pattern noted at the state level matched that at the national level. Nationally, Hispanics had the highest rate; by contrast Hispanics had the lowest rate in Tennessee.

Rates of adolescents in Tennessee in 2009 who reported riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol were equal among males and females. Racial/ethnic differences were small. Whites were the least likely to report this behavior; Blacks and Hispanics had virtually matching rates.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of Tennessee adolescents riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol in 2009 was lower than the national rate. As in Tennessee, national rates for males and females were equal. The racial/ethnic patterns differed slightly. As in Texas, Whites reported the lowest rate of this behavior nationally. However, nationally, Hispanics had a slightly higher rate than Blacks, in contrast to similar rates among these groups in Tennessee.

Violence

(homicide)

The homicide rate in Tennessee among older adolescents was flat from baseline; rates increased slightly among older adolescent males overall, but decreased considerably among older adolescent Black males. Final rates for most other groups were based on fewer than 20 deaths and were thus unsuitable for analysis.

Comparison with national data. The national rate for older adolescents was also flat from baseline. The national rate for older adolescent males was flat, in contrast to an increase for that group in Tennessee. The national rate for older adolescent Black males increased nationally, in contrast to a decrease for that group in Tennessee. The national homicide rate among older adolescents roughly matched the state rate. The national rate for Black male older adolescents was higher than the rate for that group in Tennessee.

The Tennessee rate of physical fighting among males in 2009 was nearly twice the rate of females. Rates were highest among Blacks, followed by Hispanics, and then Whites.

Comparison with national data. The Tennessee rate of physical fighting in 2009 virtually matched the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar to the patterns noted in Tennessee.

Rates of adolescent weapon carrying in Tennessee in 2009 were four times higher among males than females. Whites had the highest rate, followed by Blacks, who had a slightly higher rate than Hispanics.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of weapon carrying in Tennessee in 2009 was slightly higher than the national rate; by contrast, the rate for Hispanics in Tennessee was somewhat lower than the national rate for that group. As in Tennessee, males had nearly four times the rate as females, nationally. Also similar to Tennessee, Whites had the highest rate. However, nationally Hispanics had slightly higher rates than Blacks, the reverse of the pattern noted for Tennessee.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

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

Final rates of binge drinking in Tennessee were slightly higher among males than among females. Whites were most likely to report binge drinking; the rate for this group was somewhat higher than the rate for Hispanics and about twice the rate of Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The national patterns gender and racial/ethnic patterns roughly matched the patterns noted for Tennessee.

In 2009, rates of marijuana use in Tennessee were higher among males than females. Blacks had the highest rates, followed by Whites, then Hispanics.

Comparison with national data. As in Tennessee, males had slightly higher rates than females nationally. Also as in Tennessee, Hispanics reported the lowest rates nationally. White adolescents had higher rates than Blacks nationally, the reverse of the pattern noted for Tennessee.

The rate of suicide in Tennessee among older adolescents was flat from baseline. Final rates for most subgroups were based on fewer than 20 deaths and were thus unsuitable for analysis.

Comparison with national data. The national suicide rate for older adolescents changed little from baseline, similar to the flat rate in Tennessee. In 2007, the suicide rate for older adolescents in Tennessee roughly matched the national rate for that age group.

The final rate of adolescent suicide attempts in Tennessee requiring medical attention was slightly higher for females than males. Blacks had a higher rate than Whites.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the rate of adolescent suicide attempts requiring medical attention in Tennessee roughly matched the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for Tennessee.

 

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).

Tennessee rates of adolescents having engaged in sexual intercourse were slightly higher among males than females in 2009. Blacks had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics, then Whites.

Comparison with national data. The rate of sexually experienced adolescents in Tennessee in 2009 was higher than the national rate. Nationally, males and females had similar rates, in contrast to higher rates among males in Tennessee. The national racial/ethnic pattern matched the pattern noted for Tennessee.

The rate of sexually experienced adolescents in Tennessee in 2009 reporting current sexual activity was matching for males and females overall. This gender pattern differed among subgroups; among Blacks, males had a much higher rate of this behavior; among Whites females had a higher rate. Overall, Blacks had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics, then Whites.

Comparison with national data. The rate of currently sexually active adolescents in Tennessee was higher in 2009 than the national rate. Rates of current sexual activity nationally were higher among females than among males, in contrast to equal rates in Tennessee.  The national racial/ethnic pattern matched the pattern noted for Tennessee.

Rates of adolescent condom use in Tennessee in 2009 were higher among males than among females. Blacks had higher rates of condom use than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of condom use in Tennessee in 2009 was only slightly higher than the national rate. As in Tennessee, males had higher rates than females nationally. Blacks and Whites had virtually matching rates nationally, in contrast to higher rates among Blacks in Tennessee.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(tobacco use)

Rates of tobacco use in Tennessee in 2009 were higher among males than among females. Whites had the highest rate, followed by Hispanics, then Blacks. The rate for Whites was about twice the rate for Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The 2009 rate for tobacco use in Tennessee was higher than the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for Tennessee.

Additional data may be available at: Tennessee’s Department of Health