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The social patterning of teenage pregnancy
  1. Department of Applied Social Studies/School of Postgraduate Medical Education, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK (

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    Teenage pregnancy has been viewed with increasing concern in recent years. In the United Kingdom, the issue became a public health priority through the incorporation of targets for reducing teenage pregnancy in the “Health of the Nation” strategy.1 The continuing political importance of teenage pregnancy is marked by the current government's decision to commission a report by its Social Exclusion Unit. Although the UK has the highest teenage fertility rate in Europe, the perception of teenage pregnancy as an increasing problem is false; the live birth rate to teenage women in the UK in 1987 was 30.9/1000 compared with 49.7/1000 in 1970.2

    Health concerns have focused on the medical risks to the young mother and her infant. Teenage women …

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