Trends in childhood injury mortality in South African population groups, 1968 - 1985
Trends in major causes of injury mortality and the proportion of total deaths attributable to injuries trom 1968·to 1985 tor white, coloured and Asian children < 15 years in the RSA were examined. There were 937 injury deaths in 1968 and 853 in 1985 but no clear trends in overall mortality rates were observed. There were, however, marked fluctuations in injury mortality rates from year to year with peaks in 1975 and 1981/1982. The impact of injury as a cause of death has increased relative to a decrease in other diseases, notably gastro-enteritis and malnutrition in children < 5 years. Patterns varied considerably between age, sex and population groups. Overall, road and burn death rates decreased while drowning and assauh rates increased. Reasons for observed trends are discussed and the need for the collection of reliable national data for the total population is highlighted.
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