Two decades of mortality change in rural northeast South Africa.


Kabudula, CW; Tollman, S; Mee, P; Ngobeni, S; Silaule, B; Gómez-Olivé, FX; Collinson, M; Kahn, K; Byass, P; (2014) Two decades of mortality change in rural northeast South Africa. Global health action, 7. p. 25596. ISSN 1654-9716 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.25596

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Abstract

The MRC/Wits University Agincourt research centre, part of the INDEPTH Network, has documented mortality in a defined population in the rural northeast of South Africa for 20 years (1992-2011) using long-term health and socio-demographic surveillance. Detail on the unfolding, at times unpredicted, mortality pattern has been published. This experience is reviewed here and updated using more recent data. To present a review and summary of mortality patterns across all age-sex groups in the Agincourt sub-district population for the period 1992-2011 as a comprehensive basis for public health action. Vital events in the Agincourt population have been updated in annual surveys undertaken since 1992. All deaths have been rigorously recorded and followed by verbal autopsy interviews. Responses to questions from these interviews have been processed retrospectively using the WHO 2012 verbal autopsy standard and the InterVA-4 model for assigning causes of death in a standardised manner. Between 1992 and 2011, a total of 12,209 deaths were registered over 1,436,195 person-years of follow-up, giving a crude mortality rate of 8.5 per 1,000 person-years. During the 20-year period, the population experienced a major HIV epidemic, which resulted in more than doubling of overall mortality for an extended period. Recent years show signs of declining mortality, but levels remain above the 1992 baseline recorded using the surveillance system. The Agincourt population has experienced a major mortality shock over the past two decades from which it will take time to recover. The basic epidemic patterns are consistent with generalised mortality patterns observed in South Africa as a whole, but the detailed individual surveillance behind these analyses allows finer-grained analyses of specific causes, age-related risks, and trends over time. These demonstrate the complex, somewhat unpredicted course of mortality transition over the years since the dawn of South Africa's democratic era in 1994.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Research Centre: Population Studies Group
PubMed ID: 25377343
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2507980

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