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Lancet. 2014 Sep 6;384(9946):904-14. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61090-9.

Patterns of child death in England and Wales.

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Division of Mental Health and Well Being, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. Electronic address:
Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK.
School of Social and Community Medicine, St Michaels Hospital, Bristol, UK.
Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyneside, UK.
Welsh Paediatric Palliative Medicine Network, Bangor University, Bangor, UK; University of Glamorgan Children's Hospital, Cardiff, UK.


In the past century, child mortality has fallen to very low rates in all developed countries. However, rates between and within countries vary widely, and factors can be identified that could be modified to reduce the risk of future deaths. An understanding of the nature and patterns of child death and of the factors contributing to child deaths is essential to drive preventive initiatives. We discuss the epidemiology of child deaths in England and Wales. We use available data, particularly that of death registration and other available datasets, and published literature to emphasise issues relevant to reduction of child deaths in developed countries. We examine the different patterns of mortality at different ages in five broad categories of death: perinatal causes, congenital abnormalities, acquired natural causes, external causes, and unexplained deaths. For each category, we explore what is known about the main causes of death and some of the contributory factors. We then explain how this knowledge might be used to help to drive prevention initiatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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