Global and regional causes of death

British Medical Bulletin
Colin D MathersDoris Ma Fat

Abstract

Assessing the causes of death across all regions of the world requires a framework for integrating, and analysing, the fragmentary information that is available on numbers of deaths and their cause distributions. This paper provides an overview of the met and methods used by the World Health Organization to develop global-, regional- and country-level estimates of mortality for a comprehensive set of causes, and provides an overview of global and regional levels and patterns of causes of death for the year 2004. The paper also examines some of the data gaps, uncertainties and limitations in the resulting mortality estimates. Deaths for 136 disease and injury causes were estimated from available death registration data (111 countries), sample death registration data (India and China), and for the remaining countries from census and survey information, and cause-of-death models. Population-based epidemiological studies and notifications systems also contributed to estimating mortality for 21 of these causes (representing 28% of deaths globally, 58% in Africa). Ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease are the leading causes of death, followed by lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and dia...Continue Reading

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Cause of Death
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