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Am J Public Health. 1985 Feb;75(2):149-55.

Mortality patterns in the modernized Pacific Island nation of Nauru.


Nauru is a small phosphate-rich independent island country situated in the Central Pacific. The population is Micronesian and was estimated to be 4,680 in mid-1981. An analysis of mortality data for the years 1976-81 indicates a high adult male mortality due to accidents, injuries, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The life expectancy estimate at birth for men was 49 years, and for women 62 years. The male life expectancy is among the lowest in the region. The considerable adult male mortality appears to be related to the rapidly acquired affluence and the ready availability of motorcycles, cars, imported foods, tobacco, and alcohol. The data suggest that modernization of the economy in Pacific Island nations can lead to new and serious public health problems.

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