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On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


YUNES, João  and  RAJS, Danuta. Trends in mortality due to violent causes in the overall population and among adolescents and young people in the americas. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.10, suppl.1, pp.S88-S125. ISSN 1678-4464.

This article analyzes the trend in mortality by external causes and by groups of causes in 15 countries, from 1979 to 1990. It demonstrates that in nine countries (Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, and Venezuela) there is a downward trend in all of the age brackets studied and that in three, for the overall population (Uruguay), or the 10-24-year bracket (Panama and Puerto Rico), there is also a downward trend. Only three countries (Brazil, Colombia, and Cuba) displayed clear upward trends for all age groups, while the same was true for the population as a whole in two (Panama and Puerto Rico) and in one (Uruguay) for the 10-24-year bracket. Mortality due to external causes by age bracket is frequently concentrated in adolescents and young people, and although males predominate, gender differences in mortality have tended to decrease. In terms of magnitude of mortality by rate, there are three major groups of countries: high mortality rates (Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Mexico, and Surinam), medium (Brazil, Canada, USA, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) and moderate (Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay). As for groups of external causes, it was obvious that despite downward trends, traffic mortality is still a serious problem in Brazil, Canada, the USA, and Venezuela. Mortality due to suicide is still a major concern in Canada, USA, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, and Uruguay. Mortality due to homicide is particularly alarming in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, above all among adolescents and young people. For the three groups of external causes (traffic accidents, suicide, and homicide) there has been an unmistakable downward trend in the majority of the countries in the Americas in terms of traffic accidents, while mortality due to homicide and suicide has tended to increase in some, particularly affecting adolescents and young people, above all the 15-19-year bracket. The study also proposes a role for the health sector in preventing mortality due to violent causes.

Keywords : Violence; Mortality; Adolescents; Epidemiology.

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