Cause-specific mortality among women of reproductive age: Results from a population-based study in an Iranian community

Sex Reprod Healthc. 2017 Dec;14:7-12. doi: 10.1016/j.srhc.2017.08.003. Epub 2017 Aug 18.


Purpose of study: This study was conducted to evaluate the levels, patterns, and causes of mortality among women of reproductive age in Northwestern Iran.

Methods: Deaths were determined for females resident in West Azerbaijan Province of Iran and who died between March 2013 to February 2014 using reproductive age mortality survey (RAMOS). Causes of death were ascertained by verbal autopsy (VA) and classified based on the International Classification of Diseases, tenth revision (ICD-10). Overall and cause-specific mortality rates (MRs) per 100,000 women with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.

Results: A total of 510 deaths were detected, and VA interviews were conducted with the relatives of the deceased Cases; overall MR was 56.59 per 100,000 women (95% CI: 56.49-56.69). The highest MR was observed in suicide cases (MR=10.21per 100,000women, 95% CI: 10.15-10.27), accounting for 18% of all deaths. The most common method of suicide was self-inflicted burns (45.6%), followed by deaths due to breast cancer (MR=4.22per 100,000women, 95% CI: 4.18-4.26), which accounted for the most cancer-related mortality. All-cause mortality was associated with age, area of residence, marital status, level of education, and ethnic (religious) status relationship (P<0.001).

Conclusion: Suicide, especially self-immolation, was the main cause of death among women of reproductive age, and both suicides and breast cancer are major public health problems for this group of women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cause of Death
  • Communicable Diseases / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Mortality / trends
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult