The United States is one of only eight countries in the world where
decreases in childhood and adolescent mortality over and 27-year period
haven't also been matched by reductions in maternal mortality, according to
This is a new scientific study.
This divergent trend was also found in American Samoa, Canada
Greece, Guam, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Zimbabwe. Of
these countries, the United States had the largest increase in maternal
mortality rate at 67.5%.
“Our findings are particularly alarming because of the health of
children are very closely linked to that of their mothers, ”said Dr.
Nicholas Kassebaum, a senior author on the study and adjunct associate
Professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)
The University of Washington. “This paradox warrants
closer investigation in the United States to determine how we can
prioritizing health improvements for mothers alongside those for children
and adolescents. ”
Kassebaum emphasized the study also identifies uneven progress in
Child and adolescent health over the 27-year study period, with inequity
increasing between countries with the highest and lowest
Socio-demographic Index (SDI) scores. SDI, a measure of development
Takes into account per capita income, adult education, and total
fertility rate for women under 25 years old.
For example, the show shows the gap between the best and worst
performers has widened. Low-SDI and low-middle-SDI countries experienced
82.2% of all child and adolescent deaths, up from 70.9% in 1990.
Published today in the international medical journal JAMA Pediatrics,
the study covers 1990 to 2017 and 195 countries and territories. A part
of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study;
Comprehensive effort to quantify child and adolescent health
internationally. Findings are presented for the collective age group of
birth to 19 years, but also separately for neonates, infants, children
and adolescents. Study authors defined neonates as those younger than 28
days, infants as younger than 1 year, as younger
than 10 years and adolescents as those aged 10 to 19 years.
Researchers found children today are more likely than ever to reach
their 20th birthdays as a result of substantial mortality reductions.
Child and adolescent deaths between 1990 and 2017 falling
from 13.8 million to 6.6 million. These dramatic gains were largely due
to global declines in diarrhea, lower respiratory
infections, and other common infectious diseases, especially among
Children aged 1-4 years, who saw the most rapid reduction in mortality.
Despite this huge progress, lower respiratory infections,
diarrhea, and acute malnutrition remained among the top killers of
Children and adolescents globally in 2017. Furthermore, HIV / AIDS remains
an imminent threat to health and well-being of older children and
adolescents in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including South
Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, and Zambia.
With reductions in mortality from communicable diseases, many
middle- and high-income countries have experienced increased health loss
from non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
mental and behavioral disorders, and asthma. Injuries also continue to
be a major cause of early mortality and long-term disability among older
children and adolescents in all countries.
“An emerging threat is a large and growing burden of mental health
and substance use disorders among older children and adolescents
globally, ”said Dr. Bobby Reiner, lead author on study and assistant
Professor at IHME. “As more children survive infancy, already
overburdened health systems will need to adapt to the challenge of
addressing non-communicable diseases among older children and
Reiner also noted that few countries showed any evidence of health
improvements among adolescents over the 27-year period beyond what was
expected with general gains in societal development.
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