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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887

Abstract

LASTRA T, Jorge et al. Epidemiological profile of deaths after the 2010 earthquake in Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2012, vol.140, n.6, pp.732-739. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872012000600006.

Background: On February 27, 2010 a powerful earthquake followed by a tsunami stroke Chile. The study of mortality during this emergency can provide important public health information. Aim: To describe the main characteristics of people who died during the earthquake and the following three months. Material and Methods: Cross sectional analysis of death records databases obtained from Department of Health Statistics and Information of the Ministry of Health and the Coroner office. Results: Until May 25,2010, 505 corpses were completely identified. Seventy two of these corresponded to people aged 80 years or more. The higher age adjusted death rates per 100,000 inhabitants were observed among subjects aged more than 80 years and those aged 70 to 79 years (22.6 and 7.7 respectively). The higher rates of deaths were observed in regions where the earthquake had a higher intensity and coastal regions affected by the tsunami. The causes of death were trauma in 75% of cases and drowning in 25%. There was no association between the Mercalli scale of earthquake intensity and rates of death. Among deceased subjects, there was a concentration of unemployed, under educated and low socioeconomic status subjects. Conclusions: After the earthquake, the higher rates of deaths occurred among older people and in the region of the epicenter of the earthquake. Most deaths were due to trauma.

Keywords : Disasters; Fatal outcome; Mortality; Public Health; Socioeconomic factors.

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