Mortality of residents of Latvia due to external death causes

14.07.2006

The data of Central Statistical Bureau show that, in 2005, 3214 persons or 9.8% of all deceased have dead due to external death causes. This figure is by 560 less than in the year 2000, though slightly bigger in comparison with 2004.

Number of persons dead due to external causes in Latvia in 1995 - 2005

Intentional self-damage (suicide) and traffic accidents are the main groups of external death causes. In average, one-fifth of external death causes is intentional self-damage. Last year, 564 suicides were committed, making up 17.5% of all external death causes. Data show that males decease in suicides 4 times more than females, in 2005 respectively 445 males and 119 females. A positive trend may though be observed – the number of suicides in Latvia has reduced by 1.4 times since 2000, nevertheless, it has notably increased in the age group over 60 during the recent years.

The second position is being occupied by those deceased as result of traffic accidents – 15% of all deceased due to external death causes. Also the number of deceased due to this group of causes has decreased in the preceding year 2005 in comparison with 2004 by 50 persons or by 9.5%. Such changes may be a result of intensified police action, changes in penalty system for driving under alcohol intoxication.

The third position are death causes as result of intoxication and subjection to the influence of hazardous substances. Unfortunately, the number of such external death causes has increased in 2005, as compared to 2004, by 55 deceased or 16 %.

Number of deceased by all main groups of external death causes in Latvia
in 2000 - 2005

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2005. against
2000 (%)

Number of deceased due to external death causes, total

3773

3706

3666

3373

3173

3214

85,2

of which

Traffic accidents

699

628

602

552

538

487

69,7

Fall

365

425

393

348

274

253

69,3

Incidental drawning

255

315

268

207

183

250

98,0

Subjection to impact of smoke, fire, and flames

214

204

241

227

190

199

93,0

Intoxication and subjection to impact of hazardous substances

427

365

330

338

348

403

94,4

Including alcohol intoxication

234

208

173

218

238

205

87,6

Intentional self-damage

770

708

672

605

562

564

73,2

Violence

297

290

265

247

217

229

77,1

Other external death causes

746

771

895

849

861

829

111,1

Including freezing

187

261

275

207

263

278

148,7

According to these data, the number of deceased in traffic accidents, as result of fall, intentional self-damage, and violence shows the most rapid decrease during the preceding five years.

Upon more detailed analysis of deceased due to external reasons by their age, it may be concluded that most deceased in accidents were in the age group from 20 to 44. In 2005, this age interval comprised almost half of all deceased due to traffic accidents, 35% - due to intentional self-damage, 38% - drawned. Freezing is the only death cause where relatively most deceased (41%) are in the age 45 - 59. As a stable base, the lowest number of deceased are in the age under 19.

The further diagrams reflect the distribution of deceased by age groups in the two largest groups of death causes: intentional self-damage and traffic accidents in 2000 - 2005.
 

Deceased due to intentional self-damage
by age groups

(per 1000 residents of
 the respective age group)

Deceased due to traffic accidents
by age groups
(per 1000 residents of
the respective age group)

Since 2000, the number of deceased due to freezing has grown considerably – by 1.5 times. If the number of frozen was 187 in 2000, it was already 278 in 2005. Apparently, the increase of persons frozen to death is due to increasing number of persons without permanent place of residence and lack of places in asylums for homeless. It is being influenced by the increase of number of persons evicted from apartments due to their inability to make payments, as well as of those having lost their apartments as result of fraudulent transactions.

Viewing the situation by separate administrative territories of the country, it is apparent that the highest mortality rate due to external death causes (deceased per 100 000 residents) in 2005 was in Ludza district - 300, Rēzekne district – 266, and Preiļi district - 212. These districts, as well as that of Gulbene, also show the highest sucide indicators (56 deceased due to suicide per 100 000 residents in Gulbene district, 50 in Ludza district, 46 in Preiļi district, 44 in Rēzekne district). The mortality rate of deceased as result of traffic accidents is the highest in Bauska district, where the mortality rate was 45 in 2005, while it was only 3 in Krāslava district, and 7 in Ventspils district (deceased per 100 000 residents).

According to the most recent published data of World Health Organization, the mortality due to external causes in Latvia is 4.7 times higher than in the Netherlands, 4.5 times higher than in United Kingdom, 4 times higher than in Germany, 3.9 times higher than in Spain and Greece.

Calculations show that, if the reduction of number of deceased due to external causes could be reduced by half, the average life duration of male population of Latvia would increase by 1.8 years (from 65.6 to 67.4), and that of female population by 0.6 years (from 76.8 to 77.4).

Prepared by
Population Statistics Section of
Social Statistics department

Phone. 7366901
Melita Dimza