FACTBOX: Biggest killers of young people worldwide

Reuters

Posted at Sep 13 2009 06:04 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2009 02:05 AM

The first study to look at death rates across the world for young people aged 10 to 24 years was published Friday.

The research, conducted by an international group of experts in adolescent health and backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), included the following key findings:

* The top ten causes of death in all 10-24 year olds, male and female combined, globally were

1) Road traffic accidents (10 percent);

2) Suicide (6.3 percent);

3) Violence (6 percent);

4) Lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia (5.9 percent);

5) Tuberculosis (5.5 percent);

6) AIDS (5.5 percent);

7) Drowning (4.1 percent);

8) Fire-related deaths (2.6 percent);

9) Meningitis (2 percent);

10) War (1.8 percent)

* For males aged 10-24 worldwide, the top five causes of death were

1) Road traffic accidents (13.9 percent);

2) Violence (9.2 percent);

3) Suicide (6.4 percent);

4) Drowning (5.3 percent);

5) Tuberculosis (5.2 percent)

* For females, aged 10-24 worldwide, the top five causes of death were

1) Lower respiratory tract infections (6.7 percent);

2) Suicide (6.2 percent);

3) AIDS (6.1 percent);

4) Tuberculosis (5.8 percent);

5) Road traffic accidents (5 percent) **

** (Note- Maternal deaths from all causes represented 15 percent of deaths, however they were divided into a number of different categories meaning that no individual maternal death category featured in the top five)

* In higher-income countries, traffic accidents caused 32 percent of deaths in males aged 10-24 years. Violence accounted for 10 percent of male mortality and suicide 15 percent.

* Relative risks for death in Africa were higher than in any other region, and nearly seven times higher than in high-income countries. (305 vs 45 deaths per 100,000)

* Males died at higher rates than females in all age groups and regions apart from Africa and southeast Asia, where the increased number of female deaths was largely from maternal mortality, with deaths from suicide, fire, AIDS, and tuberculosis also contributing.

SOURCE: THE LANCET