Axios Northwest Arkansas

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Happy Monday! It's the last one in April.

🌀 Watch for dense fog early; otherwise, clearing and sunny with highs in the upper 70s.

Today's newsletter is 724 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: We're giving birth later

Share of Arkansas babies born to mothers in select age&nbspgroups
Data: CDC Wonder; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Almost 36% of Arkansas babies born in 2023 had birth mothers in their 30s or older, according to provisional CDC data.

Why it matters: In the past few years, 35 has gone from the start of "geriatric pregnancy" to potentially a maternal-age sweet spot, Axios' Carly Mallenbaum writes.

  • Nationally, 51.4% of babies born in 2023 had birth mothers in their 30s or older.

By the numbers: Arkansas has the third-youngest average age of people giving birth β€” 27.5 years old β€” behind Mississippi and West Virginia. The average age nationally is 29.6.

  • The percentage of babies born to people 19 and under in Arkansas dropped from 19.2% in 1997 to 7% in 2023. Nationally, it fell from 12.7% to 4% during the same time frame.
  • The most common age range to give birth in Arkansas shifted from 20-24 in 1997 to 25-29 in 2023; nationally, it moved from 25-29 to 30-34.

Regions with higher income and education levels "are correlated with increased advanced maternal age," partly because women there are deliberately delaying pregnancy for economic reasons, says Dr. Jane van Dis, OB-GYN and assistant professor at the University of Rochester.

Birth mothers age 35 received more prenatal monitoring and had a small decrease in prenatal mortality compared to those even a few months younger, according to a 2021 JAMA Health Forum study.

Catch up quick: The start of advanced maternal age was put at 35 decades ago, thanks to studies on a then-new invasive genetic test called an amniocentesis.

  • Researchers determined that, for a pregnant person 35+, the chance of carrying a baby with a genetic condition was greater than the risk of pregnancy loss from having an amniocentesis to test for that condition, Dr. Tiffany Pham, OB-GYN and Flo Health medical adviser, tells Axios.

But that's a dated paradigm and "there's nothing really particularly magic" about age 35, says Alison Cahill, professor and associate dean of translation research at the Dell Medical School of the University of Texas in Austin.

  • We have since learned that amniocentesis isn't as risky as once believed.
  • And there are now less-invasive and lower-risk procedures for prenatal genetic screening.

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2. Monday Munchies: Rock n Roll Sushi

The Jam Sesh Roll (left) and Rainbow Roll. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Worth here.

I should've known better.

  • In fact, I did. But hope won out.
  • Hope that, somehow, Rock n Roll Sushi has managed to combine two of my favorite things and do it well β€” a sort of Hard Rock Cafe from the '80s.

Hope spring rolls eternal.

The vibe: Based on the playlist during the visit, I'm the target demographic. Tom Petty, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Beastie Boys, Guns 'n Roses, Ratt and Nirvana were all heard and seen on the dozen or so big-screen TVs.

  • The menu is the shape and size of an album cover. Wait staff appropriately wear T-shirts, and neon-esque signs help the lighting.
  • It's all very schticky. I should've known.
A photo of a plate of pot stickers.
Pork potstickers. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Dig in: The vibe was the best part. The food did not deliver.

  • The classic workaround for subpar food is to amp it up with other flavors. Many Rock n Roll Sushi dishes lean into this with a more-than-normal helping of jalapeno, ginger, spicy mayo and the like.

The verdict: Ever the optimist, my dinner companion said, "This is a place for people who don't like real sushi."

  • That sums it up. Rock n Roll Sushi is for college students to drink beer, listen to what are now golden oldies and spend $15 on a pretty plate of food.

If you go: It's at 1777 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Fayetteville and open daily, 11am-10pm.

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3. Kitchen Sink: Scrolling the news

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The funeral for former U.S. Sen. David Pryor was Saturday. Speakers included former President Bill Clinton. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

🀳 Fayetteville Public Schools is the state's first school district to join the class-action lawsuit against TikTok, YouTube and Facebook parent company Meta. (5 News)

πŸ’» The Fayetteville RadioShack is closing after more than 50 years in business. (Fayetteville Flyer)

4. Your week ahead: Baseball and festivals

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Don't forget to have fun after work this week.

🎀 Fayetteville First Thursday β€” This free, family-friendly festival includes live music, food trucks and group bike rides. 5:30-9pm Thursday on the downtown square.

⚾️ Baseball β€” See the Arkansas Razorbacks take on Missouri State at 6:30pm tomorrow and 4pm Wednesday at Baum-Walker Stadium. Get tickets for $15-$25.

  • The Northwest Arkansas Naturals begin a six-game series Tuesday against Wichita at Arvest Ballpark. Tickets start at $9.

🧘 Wellness Festival β€” Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and The Momentary will host Wellness Festival events Thursday-Sunday. Event prices vary from free to $25. Check out the schedule.

Empower our Community

Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

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Thank you for trusting us.

5. Where in NWA is this?

Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

πŸ€” Do you know where this is?

  • Be one of the first three Axios readers to correctly ID the location and we'll send you a piece of swag.

πŸ“¬ Just hit reply!

Thanks to Fadel Allassan for editing and James Gilzow for copy editing this newsletter.

🎭 Alex saw "Laughs in Spanish" at TheatreSquared.

🎟 Worth is looking forward to seeing John Waters at the WAC on Wednesday night.