Causes of death among women aged 17-49 years between 2007 and 2010 in Maputo, Mozambique

Saara Parkkali, Bright I Nwaru, Orvalho Augusto, Fatima Abacassamo, Julie Cliff, Elina Hemminki

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Objectives: To describe causes of death among young women and estimate the role of HIV/AIDS as a cause in Maputo City, based on the civil death register.

Methods: Death data of 17-49 year-old women were abstracted from January 2007-March 2010 from the civil death register in Maputo City, registering overall about 15 000 deaths per-year. Causes of death in the register were either based on physicians' diagnoses on death certificates or determined by asking questions to deceased relatives. Causes of death were written in Portuguese; we translated them into English and classified them into 106 codes using ICD-9; these codes were then categorized into 10 groups. Estimated populations from the 2007 census were used to calculate annual mortality rates. An earlier study was used to compare deaths in 2001.

Findings: A total of 9640 deaths (6510 for residents of Maputo City) were registered and 77% had a specified cause of death reported. HIV-deaths represented 36% of all deaths and 40% among 25-39 year-olds. The death rate did not increase linearly by age, as there was a peak among women aged 30-34 years. The overall annual death rate was 6.7 deaths per 1000 population, with a notable decline by year. Death rates for HIV slightly declined by year. HIV-deaths explained most of the peak in death rate among 30-34-year-olds. The share of HIV-deaths among all deaths increased from 18% in 2001 to 35% in 2007-2010. Sixty-eight percent of all and 92% of HIV-related deaths occurred in hospital, with no increase over time.

Conclusions: Routine death register was useful to study death rates, distribution of deaths, and change over time in the urban setting of Maputo during late 2000s. Over time, the death rate among 17-49 years old women seemed to have declined, but the relative contribution of HIV increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)020411
JournalJournal of Global Health
Issue number2
Early online date3 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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