1974 WHO data on age-specific death rates due to definite and possible inflicted injuries (DII and PII) in 52 countries were studied. DII death rates for children under age one and for all ages were independent internationally. DII death rates for children aged 1-4 and for all ages were independent in developing countries, but in developed countries they came close to correlating. DII death rates for 1-4 yr olds were somewhat higher in developed countries; the infant rates were comparable. DII accounted for a greater proportion of deaths in children under 5 in developed countries. Analyses of PII rates gave less consistent results. Fatal child abuse in infancy may have different origins from the murder of older individuals. In industrially developed countries, some fatal abuse of children aged 1-4 may resemble the murder of adults.
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