TABLE 4-1 Probability of Dying Between Age 10 and Age 25 by Country Group, Years, and Sex

Region

1990-1995

2000-2005

Males

Females

Males

Females

WORLD

0.028

0.024

0.025

0.021

Developed regions

0.014

0.005

0.012

0.005

Developing regions

0.031

0.028

0.027

0.024

Least developed countries

0.074

0.070

0.064

0.059

Sub-Saharan Africa

0.079

0.070

0.075

0.068

SOURCE: Estimated from United Nations (2003a).

trate broadly the major causes of mortality in early adulthood (ages 15-29).4 The World Health Organization divides countries by region and level of mortality into groupings that are not exactly comparable to those used above, but countries classified as “low mortality” are roughly equivalent to the developed world, while the “medium” and “high” categories divide the developing countries by level of overall mortality (Figure 4-2).

Table 4-2 demonstrates the extent to which HIV/AIDS has come to dominate the mortality profile of young people in sub-Saharan Africa. By extension, because of the heavy weight of deaths in Africa at these ages, it also dominates the distribution of deaths in this age group for high-mortality countries as a group5 as well as for the world as a whole (bottom panel of Figure 4-2). As many as 58 percent of deaths among 15-29-year-olds in sub-Saharan Africa can be attributed to HIV for young women and 43 percent for young men. By contrast, slightly over 10 percent of deaths among young people are due to HIV in Southeast and Southwest Asia. In North Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and East Asia, HIV is among the least important or the least important cause of death.

Among females ages 15-29 in high-mortality countries, almost 40 per-

4  

WHO estimates of mortality by cause cover 191 countries, using vital registration data whenever possible. For 63 developing countries with no such data, estimates are derived from projected trends in child mortality using Brass techniques. For an additional 54 countries, vital registration data are incomplete or based on sample systems, so estimates must be adjusted. These limitations apply to data for all African countries, most countries in Asia and the Middle East, and several countries in Latin America (Murray et al., 2001). Given these procedures, as well as such additional problems as age misreporting, the data must be treated with considerable caution. They may be particularly questionable for Africa, where WHO relies perforce on old data and models devised for other regions (INDEPTH Network, 2002; United Nations, 1999a).

5  

A group of countries that include India, but not China.



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