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Pneumonia and preterm birth complications are the leading causes of childhood death
Date:5/11/2012

stimates, the team aggregated country results. Researchers found that although the burden of deaths among children younger than 5 decreased by 2 million between 2000 and 2010, continued reduction at this rate would not reduce child mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015 as outlined by the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal number 4. Among the causes of death that decreased globally, uncommon causes such as tetanus, measles and AIDS dropped at an annual rate sufficient to attain Millennium Development Goal number 4, and in Africa, malaria experienced a similar reduction.

"Pneumonia, measles and diarrhea contributed the most reduction between 2000 and 2010, however, the reduction was not significant enough to achieve Millennium Development Goal number 4," said Li Liu, PhD, MHS, lead author of the study and an assistant scientist with the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health. "Among the 3 leading causes of death from 2000-2010, diarrhea declined the fastest at 4 percent, followed by pneumonia at 3 percent and preterm birth complications at only 2 percent. Child survival strategies should direct resources toward the leading causes of child mortality, with attention focusing on infectious and neonatal causes."

The authors suggest, "More rapid decreases from 2010-2015 will need accelerated reduction for the most common causes of death, notably pneumonia and preterm birth complications. Continued efforts to gather high-quality data and enhance estimation methods are essential for the improvement of future estimates."


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Contact: Natalie Wood-Wright
nwoodwri@jhsph.edu
410-614-6029
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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