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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 102-107

Causes and pattern of death in a tertiary hospital in south eastern Nigeria

1 Department of Pathology, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria
2 Department of Pathology, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C C Nwafor Chukwuemeka Charles
Department of Pathology, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1118-8561.140292

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Background: Morbidity and mortality pattern is a reflection of disease burden. The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive report of the causes of death in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria, a developing tropical nation. Methods and Material: We carried out a retrospective descriptive cross-sectional study of all records of deaths from January 2004 to December 2008 in Federal Medical Centre Umuahia, Abia, State in Southeast Nigeria. Results: Of a total of 18,107 patients were admitted during the study period, 2;172 deaths representing 12% mortality rate and comprising 1;230 (56.6%) males and 942 (43.4%) females were recorded. The age of patients ranged from birth to 100 years with a mean of 41.41 ± 26.30 years and 25-44 years age group being the most affected (n = 587, 27.1%). The overall leading cause of death was the infections group, which accounted for 837 (37.6%) deaths. Other major causes were cardiovascular system -related deaths 534 (24.7%), neonatal causes 173 (8.0%), trauma 155 (7.1%), diabetes mellitus complications 144 (6.6%) and neoplasia 76 (3.5%). Conclusion: Majority of the leading causes of mortality in this study are preventable. Our data reflects the effects of double disease burden of infections and non- communicable communicable diseases in a developing nation.

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