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The Lancet: UK has one of the highest death rates for children in western Europe
Date:5/2/2014

The UK has one of the highest rates of death for children under five in western Europe [1], according to new research published in The Lancet.

The findings come from a new study coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Their figures provide a comprehensive new analysis of global progress towards reducing child mortality.

Although, by international standards, the UK has very low rates of deaths in children, the figures show that within western Europe, the UK has a higher rate of deaths in children than nearly every other country in the region. The mortality rate in the UK for children under five is 4.9 deaths per 1000 births, more than double that in Iceland (2.4 per 1000 births), the country with the lowest mortality rates. 3800 children under five died in the UK in 2013, the highest absolute number of deaths in the region.

In addition to calculating overall mortality rates for children under five, the researchers also analysed mortality rates for subdivided age categories. The UK was shown to have the worst outcomes compared with nearly every other western European nation for early neonatal deaths (death between 0 and 6 days), post-neonatal deaths (death between 29 and 364 days), and the worst outcomes of any country for childhood deaths (death between 1 and 4 years).

Across Europe as a whole, child mortality rates are substantially worse in Central Europe (average mortality rate 6.7 deaths per 1000 births) and Eastern Europe (average mortality rate 9.7 deaths per 1000 births); the UK's under-5 mortality rate is comparable to that of Serbia and Poland. Outside of Europe, the UK has a higher child mortality rate than Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.

"We were surprised by these findings because the UK has made so many significant advances in public health over the years," said Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health
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Contact: Rhonda Stewart
stewartr@uw.edu
206-897-2863
The Lancet
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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