Adolescent Death Rates Outpace Infant Death Rates
Adolescent death rates outpace those among children aged 1 to 4, according to a new study published in The Lancet medical journal. The new information reverses a historical trend in death rates where infants and young children were long considered the most vulnerable to dying prematurely.
The international study reviewed causes of death among young people across the globe between 1955 and 2004 and found that the majority of deaths among adolescents were from car accidents or recklessness.
The research also reveals the success that has been made in combating child and infant mortality. In the 1950s, the death rate for children 1 to 4 years was much higher than all other age groups.Now the death rate in children aged 1 to 9 has dropped 80 to 93 percent due to advancements against infectious diseases.
But adolescents have not seen the same kind of progress made against threats that cause their premature death.
Death rates among adolescents only decreased about half as much as they did for children, particularly in young men. By the turn of the millennium, youth aged 10 to 24 succumbed to street violence or car accidents in 70 75 percent of deaths.
"The profound health and social changes that have accompanied economic development and urbanization are particularly toxic for young people in both high-income and low-income settings," said Michael Resnick, from the University of Minnesota, who wrote an accompanying article in The Lancet.