National and Subnational Trends in Mortality and Causes of Death in Chinese Children and Adolescents Aged 5–19 Years From 1953 to 2016

Yanhui Dong, Peijin Hu, Yi Song, Bin Dong, Zhiyong Zou, Zhenghe Wang, Rongbin Xu, Dongmei Luo, Disi Gao, Bo Wen, Yinghua Ma, Jun Ma, Xiaobo Tian, Xiaona Huang, Anuradha Narayan, George C. Patton

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Purpose: We aimed to analyze the recent trends of mortality and rankings of causes of death in Chinese children and adolescents from 1953 to 2016. Methods: Data on mortality and causes of death in Chinese children and adolescents aged 5–19 years were extracted from the China Health Statistics Yearbook and the Global Burden of Disease Study from 1953 to 2016. Mortality variations were analyzed by year, age, sex, province, and causes of death. Results: The mortality of Chinese children and adolescents aged 5–19 years declined steadily from 1953 (366.03/100,000) to 2016 (27.21), with the largest reduction in adolescents aged 15–19 years and the smallest reduction in those aged 10–14 years. Large subnational disparities for all-cause mortality existed in national 31 provinces with higher mortality in western regions compared with eastern regions, but with narrowing disparities between 1981 and 2010. Injuries dominated the causes of death compared with noncommunicable diseases and communicable, maternal and neonatal, and nutritional diseases from 1990 (58.13/100,000 vs. 32.10 and 14.31) to 2016 (22.65 vs. 13.00 and 2.93). In 2016, the leading three causes of death were road injuries (8.30/100,000), drowning (7.25), and leukemia (2.60). Drowning was the leading cause of death for 5- to 14-year-olds, but road injuries have been the leading cause for 15- to 19-year-olds of both sexes since 2010. Conclusions: Although mortality in Chinese adolescents now stands at just 7% of rates in the 1950s, there is a need to address continuing inequalities across sex, economic status, and region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S3-S13
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Children and adolescents
  • China
  • Death causes
  • Mortality
  • Trends

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