Nevada ranked highest in the nation in teens with more than one child in 2001, according to a report on teen pregnancy released this week.
One of four teens who gave birth in the Silver State in 2001 already had at least one child. That was the highest rate in the country, matched only by Texas.
The report by Child Trends, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, also found that teens ages 15-19 are getting pregnant less often nationally.
The same tendency was shown in Nevada, although the state's 56 births per 1,000 15- to 19-year-olds ranked 12th highest in the nation for 2001, the most recent year available.
Nevada's top ranking in so-called repeat births surprised private and public sex educators.
"This is a new issue that needs to be dealt with," said Kyle Devine, who oversees teen pregnancy programs State Health Division.
He said the report was the first he'd seen tallying repeat births.
The percentage of Nevada teen mothers with more than one baby rose from 23 percent to 25 percent, bringing the state's ranking from sixth to first between 2000 and 2001.
The report used federal data to analyze teen pregnancy trends. It also found Nevada's teen birth rates were lower in 2001 than the 73 births per 1,000 teens charted in 1995.
Fran Courtney, board member of The Huntridge Clinic, a Las Vegas nonprofit clinic for teens, said more education is needed.
"There are limited options for medical care and family planning," said Courtney, who also directs clinic and nursing services for the Health District.
Both Devine and Courtney said they were unaware of any study looking at the problem statewide or in the Las Vegas area.