08.03.2021

Global, regional, and national mortality trends in youth aged 15–24 years between 1990 and 2019: a systematic analysis

The global health community is devoting considerable attention to adolescents and young people, but risk of death in this population is poorly measured. A study published in the Lancet aimed to reconstruct global, regional, and national mortality trends for youths aged 15–24 years between 1990 and 2019.
 
In this systematic analysis, the researchers used all publicly available data on mortality in the age group 15–24 years for 195 countries, as compiled by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. Nationally representative vital registration data, estimated the completeness of death registration, and extracted mortality rates from surveys with sibling histories, household deaths reported in censuses, and sample registration systems are complementing the data sources of the study.
 
Globally, the probability of an individual dying between age 15 years and 24 years was 11·2 deaths per 1000 youths aged 15 in 2019, which is about 2·5 times less than infant mortality (28·2 deaths by age 1 year per 1000 live births) but is higher than the risk of dying from age 1 to 5 (9·7 deaths per 1000 children aged 1 year). The probability of dying between age 15 years and 24 years declined by 1·4% per year between 1990 and 2019, from 17·1 deaths per 1000 in 1990; by contrast with this total decrease of 34%, under-5 mortality declined by 59% in this period.
 
In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of deaths increased by 20·8% from 1990 to 2019. Although 18·3% of the population aged 15–24 years were living in sub-Saharan Africa in 2019, the region accounted for 37·9% of all worldwide deaths in youth.
 
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