Long-term trends in childhood infectious disease mortality rates

Am J Public Health. 1999 Dec;89(12):1883-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.89.12.1883.


Objectives: This study assessed long-term trends in US childhood infectious disease mortality rates (CIDMR).

Methods: We calculated age-adjusted and age group-specific US CIDMR (1968-1996) by using data from the Compressed Mortality File (1968-1992, 1996) and Multiple Cause of Death Files (1993-1995) of the National Center for Health Statistics and English data for historical comparison (1861-1964).

Results: US CIDMR declined continuously from 1968 to 1996, although the rate of decline slowed after 1974. Respiratory and central nervous system categories declined most; HIV-related deaths offset these declines somewhat.

Conclusions: CIDMR declined nearly 200-fold between 1861 and 1996, but no substantive improvement occurred after 1986.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communicable Diseases / mortality*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Factors
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mortality / trends
  • United States / epidemiology