Background: The Countdown for UK Child Survival tracks recent UK child mortality trends and makes recommendations for improvement.
Methods: We used data from the WHO World Mortality Database to calculate mortality from 1970 to 2014 for 0-19 year olds in the UK and a comparable group of wealthy countries (the EU15+). We used Poisson regression models to assess the significance of apparent differences. We extrapolated model coefficients to estimate future disparites between the UK and the EU15+ to 2030. We proposed goals and intermediate indicators to track UK mortality in keeping with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Results: UK infant mortality continues to track in the worst decile of EU15+ mortality with 1-4 year mortality in the worst quartile. Annual reductions in total UK mortality have been significantly lower than the EU15+ since 1990 for infant, postneonatal and 1-4 year mortality. If current trends persist, by 2030 UK infant mortality and 1-4 year mortality could be respectively 180% and 145% of EU15+ median mortality. UK non-communicable disease (NCD) mortality among 1-4 years and 15-19 years persists in the worst quartile. UK injury mortality continues in the best quartile. A framework of goals and indicators for UK child survival and health is presented.
Discussion: UK mortality among under 10 years of age continues to diverge from the EU15+ median, and UK NCD mortality remains persistently poor. We propose a set of goals to improve UK childhood survival by 2030 and an annual Countdown mechanism to monitor progress towards these targets.
Keywords: health service; mortality.
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