Causes of death in young people in Latvia

02.07.2007

In 2006, 547 persons or 1.7% from all deaths were young people, i.e., persons aged up to 24 years, according to Central Statistical Bureau. Since 2000 this number has decreased by 219 persons.

Number of young people (0 – 24 years) deaths in Latvia, 2000 - 2006

The causes of young people deaths can be divided in two groups – external causes or forced death and internal diseases and congenital anomalies.

Number of deaths in Latvia by cause, 2000 - 2006

Year

Deaths of aged 0 – 24, total

Externally caused deaths

Deaths from internal diseases, congenital and genetic anomalies

Total

Of which by cause:

Neoplasms

Diseases of the circulatory system

Certain infections and parasitic diseases

Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities at age of 1-24

Infant deaths by cause

2000

766

421

345

41

28

12

35

162

2001

733

382

351

35

25

14

17

183

2002

715

400

315

40

25

22

21

152

2003

656

329

327

45

14

19

25

162

2004

617

296

321

41

23

16

10

162

2005

595

299

296

33

26

17

13

136

2006

547

250

297

32

37

17

19

143

 

The external causes are the most popular cause of death among young people. In 2006, 250 persons from 547 or 46% of deaths at his age were from external causes (in 2000 - 55%).

Since 2000 the number of externally caused deaths has decreased by 171 persons or by 78%, but the number of otherwise caused deaths – only by 48 persons.

In Latvia within this period the mortality of young people caused by diseases of circulatory system, certain infections and parasitic diseases has increased. These are the only causes having tendency to grow. According to the medic opinion, it could be related to the increasing number of smokers, alcohol and narcotic consumers and with the high rate of traumatism among young people. These diseases could be side effects after accidental traumas. The mortality caused by internal diseases and congenital and genetic anomalies cannot be foreseen. The morbidity with these diseases is related to the surrounding environment, food quality and life conditions.

At this age the deaths in transport accidents, self-harm and drowning are the major reasons of forced death.

Number of deaths in Latvia until age of 24 by external cause groups in 2000 - 2006

Year

Externally caused deaths

Of which:

Transport accidents

Self-harm

Accidental drowning and submersion

Assault

Exposure to smoke, fire and flames

Total

of which males

Total

of which males

Total

of which males

2000

421

157

117

67

58

58

47

30

15

2001

382

126

90

52

46

64

53

35

10

2002

400

119

85

61

55

65

49

33

18

2003

329

135

96

56

46

39

27

17

15

2004

296

103

77

45

39

37

29

22

12

2005

299

103

69

53

46

41

30

24

9

2006

250

86

62

46

45

32

27

14

6

2006 as % of 2000

59,4

54,8

53,0

68,7

77,6

55,2

57,4

46,7

40,0

 

The deaths caused by transport accidents are one third from all forced deaths. But more than 80% people, who died in transport accident are older than 15 years. In 2006, out of 86 deaths at this age were 73 persons (in 2005 respectively 103 of 126). As driver’s licence is available from age of 18, the facts show, that the most temerarious drivers are the ones with little experience - respectively the young men at this age are harmed mostly. Women comprise only one third of deaths in transport vehicle accidents.

Transport accidents deaths in 2000 – 2006, by sex

The self- harm and drowning are among the next most causes of death. The number of these deaths within last year has decreased, respectively by 16% and 22%.

On average fifty suicides per year at this age group could indicate the communication problems with relatives and surrounding people.

Self-harm deaths by age groups (per 100 000 residents of corresponding age)

Transport accident deaths by age groups (per 100 000 residents of corresponding age)

According to above data, at age group 20 – 24 the deaths in transport accidents within last year have noticeably decreased, but self-harm deaths in this age group increased.

In comparison with other countries of Europe, the Baltic States, including Latvia, have one of the highest rates of young people mortality. The following charts present the total mortality of young people aged 15 - 19 and externally caused mortality in separate Europe countries (data from UN Children Fund).

Deaths of aged 15 - 19
(per 100 000 residents of corresponding age)

External deaths of aged 15 - 19
(per 100 000 residents of corresponding age)

Prepared by the Population Statistics Section
Tel. 7366901
Melita Dimza