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Teen death toll a world problem

Tuesday March 29th, 2011

Teenagers are dying around the world in large numbers from various kinds of injury, experts warned today.

Young men now have higher death rates than infant boys, according to the research in The Lancet.

Experts called for more intense efforts to reduce death rates among young adults, thought to be linked to urban gang warfare, addiction to motor vehicles and high drug use.

One expert said movements to big cities had proved "particularly toxic" - whether young people were rich or poor.

Researchers found that in 50 years death rates among infants have fallen by up to 90 per cent worldwide - but have only halved amongst young men between the ages of 15 and 24.

This meant that at the beginning of the century young men had a three times higher death rate than infants.

Dr Russell Viner, of the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK, writes: "Future global health targets should include the causes of death in people aged ten or more years, and should extend beyond HIV infection and maternal mortality to include injury and mental health."

Writing in the journal Michael Resnick, of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, says: "Breakthroughs in medical discovery and service delivery are incomplete responses to the health threats faced by young people, in view of the profound role of socioeconomic conditions, access to education, and opportunity as determinants of life trajectory…

"Adolescence represents the second crucial window for prevention and health promotion."

The Lancet March 29 2011

Tags: A&E | Child Health | World Health

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