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Tags: us | mortality rates | children | adolescents

US Child, Adolescent Mortality Rates Rising

By    |   Sunday, 26 March 2023 04:18 PM EDT

Deaths among U.S. children and adolescents continue to rise, and it's not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study, released March 13, found that between 2019 and 2020, the all-cause mortality rate for ages 1 to 19 increased 10.7%, and an additional 8.3% between 2020 and 2021. The increases, the largest in decades, followed a period of progress in reducing pediatric mortality rates, the study said.

"Although most of the upsurge in pediatric mortality was attributable to deaths among older children [ages 10-19], all-cause mortality in younger children [ages 1-9] also increased in 2021 (by 8.4%)," the study said. "Infants [under a year old] were the only age group that experienced no significant increase in mortality."

The study said the increase in pediatric injury deaths predated the COVID-19 pandemic. Suicides among individuals aged 10 to 19 began to increase in 2007, and homicide rates in that age group began increasing in 2013.

"Likely contributors to both trends include increased access to firearms and a deepening mental health crisis among children and adolescents," the report said. "Access to opioids [such as fentanyl] also increased, and overdose death rates for individuals aged 10 to 19 began increasing shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic."

The study said the pandemic might have spurred further increases in the trend of deaths among children and adolescents. Injury mortality from ages 10 to 19 rose by 22.6% between 2019 and 2020. Much of this surge involved homicides, which increased by 39.1%, and deaths from drug overdoses, which increased by 113.5%.

"Among children aged 1 to 9, injuries explained two-thirds (63.7%) of the increase in all-cause mortality in 2021, including a 45.9% increase in deaths involving fires or burns," the study said.

The study said the increase in injury deaths that occurred in 2020 primarily involved males and Black youths accounted for 62.9% of homicide victims aged 10 to 19; in 2021, the homicide rate among Black youths aged 10 to 19 years was six times that of Hispanic youths and more than 20 times that of Asian/Pacific Islander and white youths.

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Deaths among U.S. children and adolescents continue to rise, and it's not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
us, mortality rates, children, adolescents
358
2023-18-26
Sunday, 26 March 2023 04:18 PM
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