Adult Mortality

Adult Mortality

Author: Neha, B.A.LL. B final year Saraswati Institution of Law, Palwal

Definition of Adult Mortality

The adult mortality rate shown in the World Development Indicates (WDI) database and related products refers to the probability that those who have reached age 15 will die before reaching age 60 (shown per 1,000 persons). In other words, a value of 150 means that out of 1,000 persons who have reached age 15, 150 are expected to die before reaching age 60, and 850 are expected to survive to age 60. This is based on a ‘synthetic cohort’ current life-table mortality rates are applied to the current cohort of 15 years old, assuming no changes in mortality.

Influence Of Key Health Related Indicators on Adult Mortality: Result from UN Members Countries

  • Background 

Adult mortality is associated with different demographic and behavioural risk factors including approaches to health care financing. Adult mortality rate significantly reflects the effectiveness of public health related program and intervention. 

  • Methods

This cross-sectional study used 5 sets of data combined into one from different organizations of 193 countries using record linkage theory. Eleven key health-related indicators were dependent variables and adult mortality of male and female were dependent variables from 2010 to 2013. Average mortality for male and female was shown by means and standard deviations, raw association by hierarchical linear regression.

Causes of death

Verbale autopsy was done for 1535 death and physician review for causes of death assignment was completed for all. A specific cause of death was assigned for 1107 (72%) of the deaths. The cause of death for 278 (18.1%) of the deaths was unspecified, since the physicians assigning cause of death was could not give a specific, probable cause of death based on the information given on VA questionnaire. 

Re-categorization of the causes of death were split into illness (diseases of circulatory system, gastrointestinal disorders, mental and neoplasm, renal disorders, and respiratory disorders), infectious and childbirth causes, external causes, nutritional and endocrine disorders, and pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths. 

Reliable measures of mortality at adult ages are required for evidence- based health policy, monitoring and evaluation of progress towards health- related United Nations India Sustainable Development Goals. (UNSDGs).

In the absence of reliable data from Civil Registration and vital statistic systems in many countries including India, these measures are largely derived from alternate data sources, data synthesis or modelling methods.

Direct Estimates of Adult Mortality

To have a sufficiently large number of adult deaths to generate a robust estimate, the ten-year period (0-9) prior to the survey has been chosen. Estimates of adult mortality rate have been calculated for females and males separately. They were obtained by dividing the respective number of female and male deaths by the number of females and males age 15-49 years who were at risk of death over the study period. This is obtained by dividing the numbers of deaths in each age groups of females and males by the total person-months of exposure to the risk of dying in that age group during the ten-year period prior to the survey. To obtain these rates, the age-specific death rates were adjusted using the age distribution of the de facto female population age 15-49 obtained from the Household Questionnaire.

Tobacco chewing and adult mortality: a case-control analysis of 22,000 cases and 429,000 controls, never smoking tobacco and never drinking alcohol, in South India

Tobacco is consumed in both smoking and smokeless forms in India. About 35-40% of tobacco consumption in India is in the later. A case-control study was conducted in urban (Chennai city) and rural (Villupuram district) areas in Tamil Nadu state in south India. Interviewed in 1998-2000 about 80,000 families (48,000 urban and 32,000 rural) with members who had died during 1995-1998. These were the cases and their probable underlying causes of death was arrived at by verbal autopsy.

Socioeconomic disparity in adult mortality in India: estimations using the orphanhood method 

 Due to a lack of data, no study has yet documented difference in adult life expectancy in India by educations, caste, and examine disparities in socioeconomic status (SES) in the adult mortality rate (40q30) and life expectancy at age 15 (e15) in India. The adult mortality burden falls disproportionately on illiterate adults and adults with less educated offspring. In the absence of adult mortality statistics by SES in India, we recommend that large-scale surveys should continue collecting data to allow indirect techniques to be applied to estimate mortality and life expectancy in the country.

The aim of this study was to find strength of association between key health’s related indicators and adult mortality rate. They explore the adult mortality situation in the country through the lenses of gender, caste, religion, rural-urban divides, economic status, and region of residence to provide a comprehensive picture of adult health situations and their consequences at the household level.

The importance of mortality statistics derives both from the significance of death in an individual’s life as well as their potential improve the public’s health when used to systematically assess and monitor the health status of a whole community.



Q.1 How is adult mortality calculated?


Adult mortality is typically calculated using the Adult Mortality Rate (AMR), which is the probability of dying between the ages of 15 and 60. It is often expressed per 1,000 population. AMR is determined by collecting data on deaths within this age range and the corresponding population at risk, usually over a specific time period. The formula to calculate AMR is:

AMR = (Number of deaths between ages 15-60 / Total population aged 15-60) * 1,000

This rate helps assess the risk of premature mortality in the adult population and is important for public health and policy planning.


Q.2 What causes adult mortality?

Answer:- Adult mortality can be caused by a wide range of factors, including chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, cancer), infectious diseases, accidents, injuries, violence, suicide, substance abuse, and lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise). It can also be influenced by socioeconomic status, access to healthcare, and environmental conditions

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