Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 17:27 UK

City top for teenage pregnancies

Dundee has had the highest rate of teenage pregnancies since 1999

Dundee has once again topped the list for teenage pregnancies in Scotland.

In 2006, the most recent figures available, 435 girls aged 15 to 19 in the city became pregnant - a rate of 83.9 per 1,000 girls of that age.

NHS Tayside also had the highest health board area figures in the under 20 age group, with a rate of 68 per 1,000.

However NHS Ayrshire and Arran performed worst in the 13 to 15 age category, with a rate of 11.9 per 1,000. The Scottish average was 8.1.

Tayside's figure was 9.7. The lowest rate was in NHS Highland at 4.7.

In Scotland as a whole, 9,252 girls who were under 20 became pregnant.

'Cause for concern'

In total, 772 of them were under 16 and 21 were under 14.

Most of the under 16 pregnancies - 456 - ended in abortions.

The rate of teenage pregnancies among under 16s in deprived areas was more than four times that in the least deprived.

Dundee has had the highest rate of teenage pregnancies since 1999.

Drew Walker, from NHS Tayside, said: "The teenage pregnancy rate in under 16s is disappointing although overall in Tayside, the rates for women aged under 18 and under 20 have shown a reduction.

"However, this is a continuing cause for concern for all of us and it is a statistic that I would like to see coming down much further.

"Teenage pregnancy is strongly linked to deprivation which partly explains why Dundee city has the highest rate in Scotland. In Angus and Perth and Kinross the rates are similar to the national figures."

He urged parents to talk to their children about sex, as international studies show that can have an impact on when a person decides to become sexually active.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said the Scottish Government was working to reduce unintended pregnancies.

She said: "Today's published statistics for 2006 show the number of unintended teenage pregnancies remains high and it is especially concerning to see a rise in the number of pregnancies in young women under 16 years of age.

"Reducing unintended pregnancies in girls under 16 is a key aim of our strategy, which promotes the values of mature loving relationships, founded on self respect and respect for others."

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