HealthDay News — According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, there was a decrease in global child and adolescent mortality from 1990 to 2015.

Nicholas Kassebaum, MD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues quantified and analyzed cause-specific mortality and nonfatal health outcomes among children and adolescents using data for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015.

The researchers observed a decrease in global child and adolescent mortality from 14.18 million deaths in 1990 to 7.26 million in 2014, but the distribution of progress was uneven. Compared with 1990, in 2015, countries with a lower sociodemographic index had a larger proportion of the mortality burden (75 versus 61%). 

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In 2015, most deaths occurred in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Reduction in mortality due to infectious, nutritional, and neonatal disorders were drivers of global trends, leading to a relative increase in the importance of noncommunicable diseases and injuries in accounting for the burden of global disease. 

In children and adolescents, the absolute burden of disability increased 4.3% from 1990 to 2015, with population growth and improved survival for children and adolescents accounting for much of the increase.

“Consistent international attention and investment have led to sustained improvements in causes of health loss among children and adolescents in many countries, although progress has been uneven,” the authors write.


The Global Burden of Disease Child and Adolescent Health Collaboration. “Child and Adolescent Health From 1990 to 2015: Findings From the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors 2015 Study.” JAMA Pediatr. 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0250 [Epub ahead of print]

Sudfeld CR and Fawzi WW. “Importance of Innovations in Neonatal and Adolescent Health in Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” JAMA Pediatr. 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0261 [Epub ahead of print]

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