Levels and Trends in Adult Background Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa

Patrick Gerland, United Nations
François Pelletier, United Nations
Thomas Buettner, United Nations

This paper examines recent levels and trends in adult mortality from all causes of death with and without AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. After reviewing the existing literature, we consolidate existing estimates and build on community studies and biomedical cohort data to infer national levels and trends in background adult mortality (i.e., from causes other than AIDS). This comparative study and consolidated analysis of adult mortality from all causes in countries with low or very low HIV prevalence as of 2003 is expected to provide insights on recent levels and trends in background mortality for adults in sub-Saharan Africa – including countries experiencing higher HIV prevalence rates. For this later group of countries, the use of adult mortality estimates by HIV status (based on biomarker or verbal autopsies) will enable us to validate and potentially develop adjustment factors to revise national adult mortality estimates in the absence of AIDS.

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Presented in Session 3: Adult Health and Mortality in Developing Countries