Cause-specific mortality among Israeli adolescents in the 1980s

J Adolesc Health. 1994 Mar;15(2):186-91. doi: 10.1016/1054-139x(94)90548-7.


Purpose: Considerable mortality occurs during adolescence despite it being a relatively healthy period of life. Nationwide analysis of adolescent mortality data helps identify those sub-groups with higher-than-expected death rates, that may be amenable to preventive intervention programs.

Methods: Adolescent mortality in Israel during 1981-1986 is examined by age (10-14, 15-19 years), sex, population group (Jews, non-Jews), and cause of death. Data were abstracted primarily from special publications for 1981-1986. Recently available mortality updates for 1987-1989 were inspected and significant changes in mortality during the latter period have been included.

Results: Among an average of approximately 800,000 adolescents aged 10-19 years living in Israel during 1981-1986, the majority (77%) were Jews. Overall mortality was 36.7 per 100,000. Death rates were almost twice as high for males as for females, increased with age for all population subgroups, and were 63% higher for non-Jews compared with Jews. Accidents were the major cause of death among Israeli adolescents (37.7% of total mortality), with male-to-female rate ratio of 3.4. Mortality from all external causes, including accidents, suicide, homicide, and other external causes accounted for 50.6% of all deaths. Neoplasms were the next major cause of death. Israel and U.S. adolescent mortality rates were compared and showed similar trends.

Conclusions: The non-Jewish minority adolescents, and most particularly the males, are at the highest risk of death. Preventive intervention programs should be targeted to the high-risk populations described.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / mortality
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Jews* / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Primary Prevention
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology