There is a new global report that claims that premature deaths are more likely in early adulthood and adolescence that in childhood. The Lancet study looked at 50 years of data from 50 countries with all the economic classes studied. Even though the mortality rate has fallen it is higher in teens and young than in young children, the study found.
Reasons for this change are due to traffic accidents, suicide and violence. Death rates for young have dropped significantly in the past 50 years with a 90% drop in the rates for children between 1 and 9 much of that due to infectious diseases killing fewer children.
Dr. Russell Viner of University College London said that among teenagers and young adults the death rates were not dropping as fast as for young children. Young men between 15 and 24 had a mortality rate decrease of close to 45%, much less than the younger aged children.
In all regions the biggest killer among young men is injury be it suicide, traffic accidents or violence and it is also what kills the most young women in rich and eastern European countries.
All this means that the mortality rate is now higher in teenagers and young adults than for children even though the overall rate has fallen dramatically. Young men are two or three times more apt to die prematurely than a young boy that is between 1 and 4 years of age.
Dr. Viner added that life today for teenagers and young people is much more toxic with the rises in death for violence, accidents and suicide that we do not see with the younger children. Even though the teenage years once were the healthiest in one’s lifetime, that statement is no long true in today’s world.