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People aged 10–24 years constitute about 30% of the world’s population but there have been no comprehensive studies of patterns of mortality in this age group. Now (Lancet 2009;374: 881–92; see also Comment, ibid: 853–4) data from the 2004 Global Burden of Disease Study, national registry data, and revised all-cause mortality estimates developed for the 2009 World Health Report, have been used to paint a global picture. In 2004 there were 2.6 million deaths in people aged 10–24 years. Low- and middle-income countries were the site of 97% of these deaths (2.56 million) and 64% (1.67 million) were in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia. Compared with high-income countries mortality in this age group in low- or middle-income countries was increased 3.6-fold. Mortality (per 100000) at ages 10–14, 15–19, and 20–24 was 16, 40, and 69 in high-income countries and 103, 150, and 244 in low-and middle-income countries. Except in the African and southeast Asia regions mortality rates were greater in males. Maternal conditions accounted for 15% of deaths of girls and women aged 10–24 years. HIV/AIDS caused 11% of all deaths. The greatest cause of death was traffic accidents (14% of male and 5% of female deaths). Violence …

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