13 Apr 2017 | Child & Youth Mortality Review Committee
The 12th report of the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee has been released.
This report, covering 2011-15, shows that in 2015, 536 children and young people died which is more than in the previous two years (486 in 2014, and 516 in 2013), but fewer than in the years prior. The leading cause of death for children and young people overall was medical conditions (39.6 percent) followed by unintentional injury (27.4 percent) and intentional injury (25 percent).
Māori continue to have the highest mortality rate (56.05 per 100,000), followed by Pacific (47.56 per 100,000) and European and Other (28.69 per 100,000). During the period 2011 to 2015, there were 1011 deaths in tamariki and taitamariki Māori and 337 deaths in Pacific children and young people compared to 1417 deaths in non- Māori non-Pacific children and young people. The leading causes of death were medical conditions (35 percent for Māori, 50 percent for Pacific) followed by intentional injury (28 percent for Māori, 20 percent for Pacific).
‘These deaths are tragedies, with a huge impact on the families, friends, workplaces and communities of the child or young person. I hope that this report will contribute to work that prevents this heartache for other families,’ says CYMRC chair Dr Felicity Dumble.
In 2015 there were 41 post neonatal deaths due to SUDI, compared to 36 and 37 in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The SUDI mortality rate for Pacific babies fluctuates substantially, but 2015 was the highest it has been since 2002. While tamariki Māori still have the highest SUDI mortality rate, in 2015 the rate for Māori SUDI mortality was the lowest since CYMRC data collection began in 2002 (1.01/1000 in 2015 compared to 2.15/1000 in 2002). Despite fewer deaths in the SUDI rate for tamariki Māori over the last five years, there is still a disparity in SUDI rates between Māori and European and Other ethnicities with 67% of SUDI deaths in Māori.
The number of suicide deaths overall was higher in 2015 with 119 deaths, compared to 95 in 2014 and 114 in 2013. The peak for Māori begins at age 16 years, and continues until age 20 years. For those of European and Other ethnicity, suicide deaths peak at age 20 years. Deaths in Māori tend to have a slightly earlier onset, with 62 percent of deaths in those aged 10-14 years being in tamariki Māori.
The data report is produced annually using data held by the Otago Mortality Data Group. It gives an overview of all causes of death while special topic reports, also produced annually, look in-depth at one specific cause of death. The data reports are primarily aimed at researchers and policy makers in DHBs and nationally.