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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2010, Article ID 769075, 8 pages
Research Article

Death in 12–24-Year-Old Youth in Nova Scotia: High Risk of Preventable Deaths for Males, Socially Deprived and Rural Populations—A Report from the NSYOUTHS Program

1Population Cancer Research Program, Dalhousie University, 1494 Carlton Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3B7
2Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L1
3Division Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Dalhousie University, IWK Health Centre/Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, 5850-5980 University Avenue, P.O. Box 9700, Halifax, NS, Canada B3K 6R8

Received 29 January 2010; Revised 5 May 2010; Accepted 16 June 2010

Academic Editor: Charles L. Schleien

Copyright © 2010 T. J. B. Dummer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Deaths from avoidable causes represent the largest component of deaths in young people in Canada and have a considerable social cost in relation to years of potential life lost. We evaluated social and demographic determinants of deaths in youth aged 12–24 years in Nova Scotia for the period 1995–2004. Youth most at risk of death were males, the more socially deprived, and those living in rural areas. There was a five-fold increase in suicides and a three-fold increase in injury deaths in males compared to females and a substantial component of these deaths were amongst males living in rural areas. Initiatives and prevention policies should be targeted towards specific at-risk groups, particularly males living in rural areas. Published vital statistics hide these important trends and thus provide only limited evidence with which to base-prevention initiatives.