Changes in drowning mortality rates and quality of reporting from 2004-2005 to 2014-2015: A comparative study of 61 countries

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Background: This study assessed international variations in changes in drowning mortality rates and the quality of reporting specific information in death certificates over the past decade. Methods: Drowning mortality data of 61 countries were extracted from the World Health Organization Mortality Database. We calculated the percentage change (PC) in age-standardized drowning mortality rates and percentage of drowning deaths reported with unspecified codes between 2004 and 2005 and 2014-2015. Results: Of the 61 countries studied, 50 exhibited a reduction in drowning mortality rates from 2004 to 2005 to 2014-2015. Additionally, five countries - Lithuania, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, and El Salvador - with a high mortality rate in 2004-2005 (> 40 deaths per 100,000) showed improvement (PC < - 32%). By contrast, four countries - South Africa, Guyana, Morocco, and Guatemala - exhibited a more than twofold increase in mortality rates. Regarding the quality of reporting, 34 countries exhibited a decrease in the percentage of unspecified codes. Additionally, three countries - Paraguay, Serbia, and Croatia - with moderate and high percentages of unspecified codes (> 40%) exhibited a marked reduction (PC < - 60%), whereas three countries - Malaysia, Belgium, and Nicaragua - exhibited a notable increase. Conclusions: Large international variations in the extent of changes in drowning mortality rates and the quality of reporting specific information on the death certificate were observed during the study period.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1391
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 28


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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