Trends in youth mortality in Israel, 1984-1995

R. Wilf-Miron*, K. Nathan, F. Sikron, V. Barrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Investigation of causes of death can help inform intervention policy aimed at reducing preventable mortality. Objectives: To assess mortality causes and trends over time and identify target groups with excessive mortality rates among Israeli youth aged 10-24, in order to formulate an intervention policy for prevention of adolescent mortality. Methods: Mortality data for Israeli residents aged 10-24 were extracted from the Central Bureau of Statistics computerized death certificate file for the period 1984-95. Trends were evaluated by cause of death and demographic characteristics. Results: The crude mortality rate among Israeli youth aged 10-24, during 1993-1995, was 39.6 per 100,000. Rates were 2.7 times higher among males, increased with age, and reached a peak among 18-21 year olds. Rates were 1.4 times higher among Arabs than among Jews. The sharp increase in mortality among Jewish males of military service age (18-21 years) was due mainly to motor vehicle crashes and suicide. Although overall mortality decreased by 9.4% from 1984-86 to 1993-95, the gap between the subgroups increased. MVC-related mortality increased over time by 100% among Arab males. The rate of completed suicide among Jewish males increased by 110%. Although injury-related mortality is lower in Israel compared with the U.S., similar demographic differentials and trends were found in both countries. Conclusions: Suicide among Jewish males of military service age, as well as MVC fatalities among Arab males, present a growing public health issue. Intervention strategies should therefore be targeted towards these subgroups in order to minimize the rates of preventable death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-614
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Cause of death
  • Demographic differentials
  • Mortality
  • Trends


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