Pediatric Health Facts About Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley

Tennessee Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition releases startling statistics about Chattanooga's children

Chattanooga, TN - The Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition - Tennessee is releasing recent findings about the health of Chattanooga area children.

Ÿ         The infant mortality rate for African Americans in Hamilton County is 18%, which is greater than the infant mortality rates in Mexico, Bulgaria, Columbia, China, Jordan, Oman, Georgia, Moldova, Panama and Romania (TN is 7.9% for all populations and ranks 48th nationally).

Ÿ         One of every ten live births in our region is low birth weight (<2500g).  This is 60% higher than national benchmarks.

Ÿ         One baby in five is born to a mother who smokes tobacco.

Ÿ         42% of Tennessee children are covered by TennCare and 7% have no insurance coverage.

Ÿ         Children in our region are 20% more likely to not have primary care than children nationally.

Ÿ         One out of every five South Chattanooga children and one out of every ten Ridgedale/Oak Grove/Clifton Hills neighborhood children are not ready to start kindergarten because of physical problems.

Ÿ         The number of children ages 2 to 17 with a parent who reports that a doctor has told them their child has autism, developmental delays, depression or anxiety, ADD/ADHD, or behavioral/conduct problem has increased from 16% to 21 % in the last 4 years.

Ÿ         20% of our region's children are obese (>95th percentile).  This is 26% more than the national average.  40% of 10 to 17-year-old males are overweight or obese in TN.

87% of obese adolescents become obese adults.
39% of obese adolescents become severely obese adults.

People who are obese have annual medical costs that are $1429 higher than those of normal weight.

Ÿ         Teen pregnancy rates are 5% higher in our region than across Tennessee and one and a half times the national benchmarks.

Ÿ         Chattanooga ranks the 5th worst asthma city in the United States, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.  The American Lung Association of Chattanooga has found that asthma is the number one reason children miss school and parents miss work.

Ÿ         One out of every eight under 18-year-olds in Tennessee suffered from Asthma symptoms this last year (tied with Alabama and Delaware as worst).