The latest report issued by the World Health Organization shows 1.2 million teenagers die every year due to mostly preventable causes. Globally, the leading cause of death was road injury, closely followed by suicide and acute respiratory infections.
The Leading Cause of Death Differed from Region to Region
Globally, 1.2 million teenagers die every year. This translates into about 3,000 deaths per day. While the global leading cause is road injury, when scientists divided the cases according to the age, sex, and location, they found the main cause of death varied considerably.
The report shows almost two-thirds of deaths occur in Africa and Southeast Asia, a definite sign that these two regions need to improve their social care, health, and education services.
Adolescents who are deprived of proper nutrition and exercising can develop health problems that will severely affect their adulthood. Moreover, in poorer countries, teenagers often engage in risky activities such as illicit sex or drug consumption, exposing themselves to an array of deadly conditions.
“Relatively small investments focused on adolescents now will not only result in healthy and empowered adults who thrive and contribute positively to their communities, but it will also result in healthier future generations, yielding enormous returns,” the report reads.
Researchers also found road injuries are most common among teenage boys aged 15 to 19. Contrary to popular belief, most were not drivers, but pedestrians or cyclists.
Previous studies found that in countries with higher average incomes, adolescents are more likely to die due to risky behavior such as drug or alcohol abuse or self-harm than lack of proper healthcare. Concerning the number one killer, researchers mentioned that a more detailed study is in order to establish if the lives lost due to road injury are caused by drunk or exhausted driving, pedestrians walking at night, or lack of attention on both parts.
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