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Global Death Rate for Children Lower Than Thought
Date:5/24/2010

onatal period) and in the first 28 days to 12 months of age (postnatal period) dropped by 57 and 62 percent, respectively.

In another positive trend, 1970 saw 40 nations with a death rate above 200 per 1000 live births, but only 12 nations hit that mark by 1990, and none crossed that threshold by 2010. Overall, the fastest rates of decline in childhood mortality appear to be occurring in Latin America and North Africa.

On a less optimistic note, however, the authors found that not all high-income countries -- where child death rates are typically much lower than in poorer nations -- are on equal footing with one another, the IHME analysis finds.

For example, although the UK has experienced a drop in child deaths of 75 percent since 1970, the nation still has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest child mortality rates in all of Western Europe.

And rates of child death have declined by just two to three percent per year in both the U.S. and Canada since 1990 -- a significantly poorer improvement than the three to five percent decline rates experienced in most other high-income countries.

The finding is reported in the May 23 online issue of The Lancet.

More information

For more on child mortality. visit the World Health Organization.



-- Alan Mozes



SOURCE: The Lancet, May 23, 2010, news release.


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