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article imageAccidents, suicide among top killers of world's youth

By Michael Krebs     Sep 11, 2009 in World
In a study funded by the World Health Organization, the world's youth are most commonly killed by road accidents, violence, and child birth complications. Diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis were not as prominent as researchers once thought.
A study funded by the World Health Organization overturned the long-held myth that young demographics - aged 10-24 years - are more fit than other age groups. In fact, a great number of them meet their demise in a number of nasty manners.
The study found that 2.6 million young people die every year - and 97 percent of those deaths occur in low to middle-income countries.
While those numbers are certainly alarming, young people account for a huge percentage of the world's population. Citing WHO numbers, there are 1.8 billion 10 to 14 year-olds on the planet. That figure represents roughly 30 percent of the global population.
Among males, road accidents composed the highest percentage of youth demographic deaths, and suicides and other violence were the second highest cause - and among females, complications from childbirth was the number one cause. 15 percent of young female deaths were attributed to complications from childbirth.
A curious side story in the study examined the potential misdirection of attention on major diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis. The current focus on AIDS and TB was acknowledged by the researchers as important but also as "an insufficient response" given the overall death figures and causes.
According to AVERT, there were 2 million AIDS deaths across all age demographics worldwide in 2007. And using WHO statistics, there were 1.6 million estimated tuberculosis deaths across all age demographics worldwide in 2005.
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