Research news: May 2011
Lancet 2011; doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60106-2
Worldwide, adolescents and young adults now have higher death rates than preschool children, reversing the traditional pattern of the past 50 years, say researchers. It is time to shift our focus to include older children, particularly young men, who are now dying at two to three times the rate of boys under five in many regions.
A close look at mortality data from 50 countries collated by the World Health Organization since 1955 identifies the sharp decline in deaths among all age groups, but particularly in preschool children, who have benefited most from global attention to infectious diseases. Boys and young men between 10 and 24 years have gained substantially less. By the 1970s injuries were dominating the picture in this group. By the turn of the 20th century, violence and suicide accounted for between a quarter and a third of all deaths among boys and men