Mortality Increased for Youth in United States Versus Comparison Countries

Mortality rates increased among youth in U.S. aged 10 to 19 years from 2013 to 2021, while decrease seen in mortality in comparison countries
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TUESDAY, July 9, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Youth in the United States have increased mortality relative to 16 comparison countries, according to a study published online July 1 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H., from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, and Derek A. Chapman, Ph.D., from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Population Health, both in Richmond, compared U.S. mortality rates among youth aged 0 to 19 years to those of 16 comparison countries. Excess deaths were calculated for each age group and year from 1999 to 2019.

The researchers found that relative to the 16 comparison countries, mortality rates were higher among youth in the United States. Between 2013 and 2021, mortality rates increased among U.S. youth aged 10 to 19 years, while there was a decrease seen in the median mortality rate in comparison countries, widening the mortality gap. Among U.S. youth aged 15 to 19 years, a pronounced increase in mortality was seen after 2019, which was not observed in most comparison countries. From 1999 to 2019, there were 413,948 excess deaths among U.S. youth aged 0 to 19 years, with infants accounting for 56.6 percent of excess deaths, and those aged 1 to 4, 5 to 9, 10 to 14, and 15 to 19 years accounting for 7.5, 3.9, 5.8, and 26.2 percent of the excess deaths, respectively. From 2009 to 2019, there was an increase observed in the proportion of excess deaths at 10 to 19 years (from 27.5 to 35.8 percent).

"Youths aged 10 to 19 years accounted for an increasing proportion of excess deaths since 2010," the authors write. "Most were male, with higher rates of fatal injuries."

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