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REGIONAL HEALTH OBSERVATORY


Health Situation in the Americas. Basic Health Indicators 2012


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The publication “Health Situation in the Americas. Basic Indicators 2012” of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) presents the latest available information on health indicators for countries and territories in the Region of the Americas..

This edition highlights the mortality due to external causes (EC); those causes of death different from natural causes and recognized as avoidable such as suicides, homicides and accidents. From the data reported by the countries, it is estimated that over 5.5 million people died from EC in the Region between 1999 and 2009. Three and a half million deaths (64%) occurred among the young and adult population (10-49 years old) with an average of 319,000 deaths per year; 84% of the deaths happened among males, five times more deaths among men than women. The most frequent causes were homicides (33%) and land transport accidents (26%).

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Mortality from land transport accidents and homicides might be associated with economic, educational, political, social, and cultural factors. Also, they overburden the health care systems and pose a high cost on society, in addition to the suffering of the victims and their families6. In several countries of the Region the proportion of population in productive ages regarding the number of the youngest and the oldest are increasing, favoring their economic growth. The negative potential impact of these deaths over this “demographic bonus” is an important call to countries for action given the preventability of these outcomes. 

The information presented in this brochure has been compiled, processed and reviewed by PAHO/WHO technical staff in collaboration with ministries of health and national statistics offices from countries of the Americas.

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