The UK has failed to match the gains made in reducing deaths among children and young adults by 17 other high-income countries in the European Union*, Australia, Canada, and Norway (EU15+) in the 38 years since 1970.
The findings, published in The Lancet, reveal that despite the UK having been in or near the top 25% (best quartile) for all-cause mortality for children and young people (aged 0–24 years) in 1970, the UK’s pace of decline in mortality has fallen significantly behind the EU15+ average over the past four decades. By 2008, the UK had fallen to the worst quartile (bottom 25%) for infants and 1–4 year olds.
Although the UK’s young people aged 10–24 now have average mortality compared with those in the EU15+ countries, overall death rates in this age group conceal the UK’s poor progress against deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which were masked by a strong performance in reducing deaths from injuries.
Using national death registry data from the WHO World Mortality Database, Professor Russell Viner from the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK and colleagues analysed patterns and causes of death among children and young people (aged 0–24 years) in the UK compared with a group of similar wealthy countries between 1970 and 2008.
Only for injury-related deaths has the UK remained in the best EU15+ quartile over the past 38 years for most age groups.
The UK performance for deaths in infants (younger than 1 year) and children aged 1–9 years has been particularly poor, with an estimated 1035 excess deaths annually for infants in the UK compared with the EU15+ median by 2008.
Deaths from NCDs in all age groups in the UK fell from being roughly equivalent to the EU15+ average in 1970 to the worst quartile by 2008, with about 446 excess deaths from NCDs in the UK, most (280) among young people aged 15–24 years. This was largely due to the contribution of drug misuse disorders in young people aged 10–24 years (1·39 per 100 000 deaths in the UK vs 0·12 per 100 000 in EU15+ countries for 2005–08) and other neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
“Worsening trends in NCD mortality have cancelled out the benefits of the UK’s traditionally low injury mortality”, explains Professor Viner. “Demographic change, including increasing birth rates in the UK compared with other EU15+ countries and increasing prevalence of common chronic disorders in children and adolescents could magnify these differences over the next 20 years.”** Read more…
No country has witnessed a significant decline in obesity prevalence over past three decades.
Worldwide, there has been a startling increase in rates of obesity and overweight in both adults (28% increase) and children (up by 47%) in the past 33 years, with the number of overweight and obese people rising from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion in 2013, according to a major new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, published in The Lancet.
However, the rates vary widely throughout the world with more than half of the world’s 671 million obese individuals living in just ten countries—the USA (more than 13%), China and India (15% combined), Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany , Pakistan, and Indonesia, and (listed in order of number of obese individuals). Read more…
Mercer is an American global human resource and related financial services consulting firm, headquartered in New York City. Recent, the company has launched an interesting infographic showing the leave policies of different countries.
“All countries in Mercer’s report provide some level of parental leave, but the scope of difference can be quite astounding,” said Samantha Polovina, the Mercer Principal responsible for the report. “For example, one country may mandate a few days or weeks of leave, while another allows four years — much of it paid.” Read more…
Researchers have reported the Global AgeWatch Index to present the varying quality of life and wellbeing of older people from around the world. Study further below to know the best place and worst place for older people in the world. Read more…
Scientists have reported that the last 30 years of the 20th century, i.e. from 1971-2000, were the warmest years in the last 14 centuries in the history of the Earth. Read more…