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Adult mortality trends reveal massive rise in global inequalities
Date:4/30/2010

The most comprehensive assessment to date of global adult mortality appears today, April 30, in The Lancet . The study, "Worldwide mortality in men and women aged 15-59 years from 1970 to 2010: a systematic analysis", shows that across countries, inequality in adult mortality has grown to the point where adult men in Swaziland -- the country with the worst mortality rate -- now have a probability of premature death that is nine times the mortality rate of the best country, Cyprus. The rates of mortality in southern Africa are now higher than mortality rates were in Sweden in 1751.

The research also shows that the United States has fallen significantly behind other countries in reducing deaths. In 1990, the United States ranked 34th in the world in female mortality and 41st in male mortality, but by 2010, it had dropped in the rankings to 49th for women and 45th for men. This puts it behind all of Western Europe and lower-income countries such as Chile, Tunisia, and Albania.

"With adult mortality, we are seeing this massive spread between the best and the worst off , unlike what we have seen with maternal mortality and what we are seeing with children, both of which have seen major progress since 1970," said Dr. Christopher Murray, University of Washington (UW) professor of global health and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the UW.

Using new methods developed by IHME, researchers generated estimates for 187 countries of the probability that an individual who has just turned 15 will die a premature death before reaching age 60 (termed 45q15).

The researchers point to a range of factors for the widening disparities. AIDS sharply reversed positive trends in mortality in the 1990s in Africa. Increased incomes in some countries appear to be increasing the prevalence of risk factors for disease, such as high blood pressure and obesity. Smoking also continues to play a large role throughout th
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Contact: Jill Oviatt
oviattj@u.washington.edu
206-897-2862
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

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