West Virginia

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.

Findings within West Virginia were mostly positive. Rates improved from baseline for mortality for older and young adolescents, motor vehicle crash mortality, safety belt use, riding with a driver who had been drinking, binge drinking, marijuana use, and tobacco use. Rates of physical fighting weapon carrying, current sexual activity and condom use remained flat. Mortality rates among young adults worsened.

Final rates for most objectives in West Virginia compared unfavorably to or matched national rates. West Virginia rates of overall mortality for adolescents and young adults compared unfavorably to national rates, as did rates of motor vehicle crash mortality, safety belt use, weapon carrying, suicide attempts requiring medical attention, sexual experience, current sexual activity, condom use, and tobacco use. Rates of younger adolescent mortality, physical fighting, suicide attempts requiring medical attention, and sexual experience were similar to national rates. Only West Virginia’s rate for 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 in West Virginia increased from baseline among young adults and decreased for older adolescents; data also suggest a decrease among younger adolescents. In 2007, males had higher rates than females; among young adults, this gender difference was more than two-fold.

Comparison with national data. As in West Virginia, mortality rates decreased for older adolescents and increased for young adults. Young adult mortality nationally increased slightly, compared to larger increases for that group in West Virginia. In 2007, West Virginia rates of mortality for older adolescents and young adults were higher than national rates, with an especially large difference among young adults. The national mortality rate for younger adolescents roughly matched the rate for West Virginia.  The national gender pattern roughly matched the pattern noted for West Virginia.

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 and young adult mortality in West Virginia due to motor vehicle crashes (MVC) decreased from baseline, due to a decline among males. The rate for females was flat. In 2007, males in West Virginia had more than twice the MVC mortality of females.

Comparison with national data. National MVC mortality was flat from baseline, in contrast to a decrease in West Virginia. In 2007, the West Virginia rate of MVC mortality was higher than the national rate. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted in West Virginia.

Rates of safety belt use in West Virginia increased from baseline overall, with a large increase for males. In 2009, females had a higher rate of this behavior than males.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of safety belt use also increased nationally. In 2009, the overall rate in West Virginia was lower than the national rate. As in West Virginia, females had higher rates than males nationally.

Rates of adolescents in West Virginia who reported riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol decreased from baseline, with a significant decrease among males. In 2009, males and females had similar rates of this behavior.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol also declined.  In 2009, the overall rate of adolescents in West Virginia engaging in this behavior was lower than the national rate. Nationally, the female rate roughly matched the male rate, as in West Virginia.

Violence

(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)

Rates were based on fewer than 20 deaths; thus were unsuitable for analyses.

West Virginia rates of physical fighting were flat from baseline. In 2009, males had a higher rate of physical fighting than females.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of physical fighting decreased from baseline compared to a flat rate in West Virginia. In 2009, the rate for West Virginia matched the national rate. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted for West Virginia.

The overall rate of weapon carrying among adolescents in West Virginia was flat from baseline, although the rate for females increased significantly, almost doubling. Despite the increase among females, the final rate for males was more than three times the rate for females.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of weapon carrying was also flat from baseline. In 2009, the rate for West Virginia was higher than the national rate. Nationally, males had much higher rates of this behavior than females, as in West Virginia.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

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

Rates of binge drinking in West Virginia decreased significantly from baseline, both overall and for males. In 2009, males had slightly higher rate of this behavior than females.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of adolescent binge drinking overall decreased very little from baseline, compared to a sizable decrease in West Virginia. Nationally, males and females had roughly matching rates, similar to the small difference in West Virginia.

Rates of marijuana use in West Virginia declined from baseline, both overall and among females. In 2009, males had a slightly higher rate than females.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of marijuana use decreased slightly from baseline, as in West Virginia. The national rate for males was slightly higher than the rate for females, similar to the pattern noted for West Virginia.

Suicide rates were based on fewer than 20 deaths; thus were unsuitable for analyses.

The rate of adolescent suicide attempts in West Virginia requiring medical attention was flat from baseline. In 2009, the rates for males and females roughly matched.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of adolescent suicide attempts requiring medical attention decreased from baseline, in contrast to no significant change in West Virginia. In 2009, the overall rate for West Virginia was higher than the national rate. Nationally, males and females had similar rates, as in West Virginia.

 

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).

The West Virginia rate of adolescents having engaged in sexual intercourse was flat from baseline. In 2009, males and females had similar rates.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of sexually experienced adolescents was also flat from baseline. In 2009, the overall rate of sexually experienced adolescents in West Virginia was higher than the national rate. Nationally, males and females had similar rates, matching the pattern in West Virginia.

The overall rate of sexually experienced adolescents in West Virginia reporting current sexual activity was flat from baseline. In 2009, the rate of current sexual activity for females was slightly greater than the rate for males.

Comparison with national data. The overall national rate of currently sexually active adolescents was also flat from baseline. In 2009, the West Virginia rate of currently sexually active adolescents was higher than the national rate. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted in West Virginia.

The overall rate of adolescent condom use in West Virginia was flat from baseline. In 2009, males had somewhat higher rates than females.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of condom use was also flat from baseline. In 2009, West Virginia had lower rates of condom use than the national rate. The national gender pattern roughly matched the patterns noted for West Virginia.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(tobacco use)

Tobacco use in West Virginia decreased considerably from baseline, both overall and for males and females. In 2009, males had slightly higher rates of tobacco use than females.

Comparison with national data. National rates of tobacco use also declined significantly from baseline. In 2009, the West Virginia rate was a slightly higher rate of tobacco use than the national rate. Nationally, males had slightly higher rates than females, matching the pattern noted in West Virginia.

Additional data may be available at: http://www.wvdhhr.org/mcfh/adohealthprofile/index.asp