TUESDAY, Oct. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Mortality rates for infants and youths generally declined in the United States from 1999 to 2015, though they remain higher than rates in Canada and England/Wales, with especially high rates among black and American Indian/Alaskan Native youth, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Sahar Q. Khan, from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues analyzed death certificate data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Statistics Canada, and the U.K. Office of National Statistics for all deaths among individuals <25 years from 1999 through 2015.

The researchers found 1,169,537 deaths in this age group in the United States (64 percent male; 52.6 percent white, 25.1 percent black, and 17.9 percent Latino), 80,540 in Canada, and 121,183 in England/Wales. In the United States, Canada, and England/Wales, all-cause mortality declined for all age groups (<1 year [38.5 percent of deaths], 1 to 9 years [10.6 percent], 10 to 14 years [5 percent], 15 to 19 years [17.7 percent], and 20 to 24 years [28.1 percent]). Rates were highest in the United States. Annual declines in all-cause mortality rates occurred among all age groups in the United States for the three races except for white individuals aged 20 to 24 years, whose rates remained steady. Notable declines in mortality rates occurred for sudden infant death syndrome, unintentional-injury death, and homicides. There were increases in mortality rates for unintentional suffocation and strangulation in bed among infants, suicide rates among Latino and white individuals aged 10 to 24 years and black individuals aged 10 to 19 years, and unintentional-injury deaths in white young adults.

“Resources should be allocated toward the prevention of suicide and drug poisoning in youth, and safe sleep techniques should be reinforced for infants,” write the authors.

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