UK failing to reduce child and youth deaths as quickly as other wealthy countries

UK failing to reduce child and youth deaths as quickly as other wealthy countries (Image credit: Boliston/Flickr)
UK failing to reduce child and youth deaths as quickly as other wealthy countries (Credit: Boliston/Flickr)

Main Point:

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.

Published in:

The Lancet

Study Further:

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 …

Most comprehensive global study to date shows obesity rates climbing worldwide

Obesity rate is increasing worldwide (Credit: Chris/Flickr)
Obesity rate is increasing worldwide (Credit: Chris/Flickr)

Main Points:

No country has witnessed a significant decline in obesity prevalence over past three decades.

Published in:

The Lancet

Study Further:

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 …

In Czech Republic, mothers or fathers can take up to 4 years of paid parental leave – Infographic

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 …

Western region of Antarctica is one of the fastest warming regions of the World

Map showing warming in Antarctica (Credit: Julien Nicolas / Ohio State University)Researchers have found the rapid warming of the western part of the ice sheet of Antarctica.

This research has been published online in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Researchers have observed that the western region of the Antarctica is facing nearly two times faster warming than the previous opinions. They recorded temperature from Byrd Station, a scientific station in the center of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), and found the increase of 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit (2.4 degrees Celsius) in average annual temperature since 1958. This increase is about three times faster than the average temperature increase in the world.

This research shows the contribution of the West Antarctica to the rise of water levels in the world.

“Our record suggests that continued summer warming in West Antarctica could upset the surface mass balance of the ice sheet, so that the region could make an even bigger contribution to sea level rise than it already does,” David Bromwich, professor of geography at Ohio State University and senior research scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center, said in a statement. Read More …

This October had more than 27th year of above-average temperature

Temperature percentiles October 2012 (Credit: NOAA)

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found this October as a continuous 332nd month with above-average temperature.

In the NOAA’s monthly “State of the Climate” analysis, the agency reported: “The average temperature across land and ocean surfaces during October was 14.63°C. This is 0.63°C above the 20th century average and ties with 2008 as the fifth warmest October on record. This is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature.” Read More …

NASA’s map on nutrient limitation and plant productivity; Research

Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif. made an analysis for the first time to estimate the effect of nutrients available in the soil to the growth of plants in the world.

This research has been published online in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

Researchers have developed a map to check for the utilization of carbon dioxide by the Earth’s ecosystems as the greenhouse gas levels increase.

Global map depicting nutrient limitation affecting plant productivity

Read More …