Causes of death among women aged 10-50 years in Bangladesh, 1996-1997

Hussain R. Yusuf, Halida H. Akhter, Mahbub Elahi Chowdhury, Roger W. Rochat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Limited information is available at the national and district levels on causes of death among women of reproductive age in Bangladesh. During 1996-1997, health-service functionaries in facilities providing obstetric and maternal and child-heath services were interviewed on their knowledge of deaths of women aged 10-50 years in the past 12 months. In addition, case reports were abstracted from medical records in facilities with in-patient services. The study covered 4,751 health facilities in Bangladesh. Of 28,998 deaths reported, 13,502 (46.6%) occurred due to medical causes, 8,562 (29.5%) due to pregnancy-related causes, 6,168 (21.3%) due to injuries, and 425 (1.5%) and 259 (0.9%) due to injuries and medical causes during pregnancy respectively. Cardiac problems (11.7%), infectious diseases (11.30%), and system disorders (9.1%) were the major medical causes of deaths. Pregnancy-associated causes included direct maternal deaths (20.1%), abortion (5.1%), and indirect maternal deaths (4.3%). The highest proportion of deaths among women aged 10-19 years was due to injuries (39.3%) with suicides accounting for 21.7%. The largest proportion of direct obstetric deaths occurred among women aged 20-29 years (30.5%). At least one quarter (24.3%) of women (n=28,998) did not receive any treatment prior to death, and 47.8% received treatment either from a registered physician or in a facility. More focus is needed on all causes of deaths among women of reproductive age in Bangladesh.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-311
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bangladesh
  • Causes of death
  • Maternal mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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