Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
YUNES, João and ZUBAREW, Tamara. Mortality from violent causes in adolescents and young people: a challenge for the Region of the Americas. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 1999, vol.2, n.3, pp. 102-171. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X1999000200002.
This paper describes mortality trends for homicides, suicides, traffic accidents and other external causes in the entire population, adolescents, and youngsters, from 16 countries in the Region of the Americas. This study used the information compiled by the Pan American Health Organization data bank from 1980 until the last year in the 90's in which data was available for each country. A description of different subgroups of adolescents and young people, by age, and sex, is provided. Results indicate that in most countries (Canada, USA, Ecuador, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and El Salvador), mortality trends due to external causes have been decreasing in the entire population, as well as among adolescents and young people. Colombia and Brazil are the only countries analyzed which have increasing mortality rates by external causes in their populations. The countries with highest mortality rates due to external causes among adolescents and young people, in decreasing order, are: Colombia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil and Puerto Rico. The primary external causes of death in the entire population, as well as among adolescents and young people, are traffic accidents. However, in almost all of the countries analyzed, death rates are decreasing. Ten of the countries analyzed revealed a progressive increase in homicides in all of the age groups studied (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, USA, Venezuela, and Brazil). The countries with the highest homicide rates among young men, between 15 and 19 years of age, in decreasing order, are: Colombia, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Brazil. Young men, between 20 and 24 years of age, were the subgroup with the highest homicide rates. In the United States and Brazil, there is an alarming increase in the homicide rate of boys between 15 and 19 years of age. Suicide is a growing problem among adolescents and young people in Cuba, Canada, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, and El Salvador. Increasing mortality rates due to homicide reflect the pressing need for epidemiological surveillance and violence prevention programs directed towards adolescents and young people in the Region of the Americas.
Keywords : Adolescence; Young people; Mortality rates; Violence causes; Homicide; Suicide; Traffic accidents; External causes.