Leading causes of death for children

January 7, 2014

The leading cause of death for persons younger than the age of 24 years is unintentional injuries, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

The leading cause of death for persons younger than the age of 24 years is unintentional injuries, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the latest National Vital Statistics Reports on the leading causes of death for 2010, unintentional injuries account for one-third (32.4%) of deaths in children aged 1 to 9 years and 40.7% of deaths of teenagers and young adults aged 10 to 24 years.

In the age group 1 to 9 years, cancer was the second leading cause of death, accounting for 11.8% of deaths, followed by congenital malformations (10.1%), homicide (7.5%), heart disease (3.4%), and influenza/pneumonia (1.9%).

While heart disease and cancer led the causes of death in 2010 for adults, in the age group 10 to 24 years, suicide (15%) and homicide (14.9%) followed unintentional injuries as numbers 2 and 3. Cancer came in fourth, accounting for 6.4% of deaths, followed by heart disease, accounting for 3.5% of deaths.

The leading causes of death for infants were birth defects, accounting for one-fifth (20.8%) of infant deaths, and low birth weight (16.9%), followed by sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (8.4%), maternal complications from pregnancy (6.3%), and accidental injuries (4.5%). These 5 accounted for more than half of all infant deaths (56.9%) in 2010. Causes 6 through 10 were complications with the placenta or umbilical cord, bacterial infection, respiratory problems, circulatory problems, and necrotizing enterocolitis. These 10 causes were responsible for 70% of all US infant deaths in 2010 and remained unchanged in rank order from 2009, according to the report.

In the neonatal period (up to 28 days of age), the leading cause of death in 2010 was short gestation and/or low birth weight, whereas SIDS was the leading culprit in the postneonatal (from 28 days to 11 months) period. Congenital malformations ranked second in both age groups. 

 

 

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