August 28, 2009

CDC: Post Katrina births drop except Ala.

Births dropped in the year after Hurricane Katrina in areas of Louisiana and Mississippi that were hit but rose in affected parts of Alabama, researchers say.

Births were down 30 percent in the Louisiana region pummeled by the 2005 storm and 13 percent in the affected parts of Mississippi -- an average of 19 percent for the 14 counties in those two states -- but rose 6 percent in selected Alabama counties, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for health Statistics says.

The researchers examined birth certificates for the 12 months preceding Katrina and the 12 months following the storm -- Aug. 29, 2004, to Aug. 28, 2006.

The data cover residents in the 91 Federal Emergency Management Agency-designated counties and parishes of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

In Orleans Parish, the central parish of New Orleans, the proportion of births to non-Hispanic black women fell from 78 percent of total births before the storm to 60 percent in the year after Katrina.