Trends in childhood injury mortality in three South African population groups, 1968-1985

S Afr Med J. 1990 Oct 6;78(7):392-7.


Trends in major causes of injury mortality and the proportion of total deaths attributable to injuries from 1968 to 1985 for white, coloured and Asian children less than 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 less than 5 years. Patterns varied considerably between age, sex and population groups. Overall, road and burn death rates decreased while drowning and assault rates increased. Reasons for observed trends are discussed and the need for the collection of reliable national data for the total population is highlighted.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Burns / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Violence
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*