Trends in mortality rates for infectious and parasitic diseases in Australia, 1907-1997

Peng Bi, M Whitby, S Walker, K Parton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: To characterize long-term mortality trends for infectious and parasitic diseases in Australia during the twentieth century, explore influencing factors and provide suggestions to health policy-makers.Methods: A descriptive study was conducted. Deaths due to communicable diseases from 1907 to 1997 were tallied, according to the International Classifi­cation of Diseases version 9 (ICD-9). Trends in infectious disease mortality in overall population and in the 0'4 years age group were examined and standardized by sex. Death rates were also studied for: (i) diarrhoea/enteritis, (ii) pneumonia and all respir­atory diseases and (iii) tuberculosis.Results: There has been a substantial decline in ­mortality from communicable diseases over the study period. The death rate dropped from 258.9 per 100 000 population in 1907 to 7.2 per 100 000 pop­ulation in 1997. Six phases of the decline were observed.Conclusions: A combination of improved living conditions and access to readily available treatments over the twentieth century played an important role in the reduction of infectious disease mortality in Australia. (Intern Med J 2003; 33: 152'162)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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