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Смертность от повреждений с неопределенными намерениями в России и в других странах

Deaths due to injuries and poisoning which experts could not identify as homicide, suicide or accident are registered in statistics as deaths due to an event of undetermined intent. The proportion of such deaths can indicate the quality of the statistics of causes of death, above all of the statistics of intentional self-harms and assaults. In Russia, the proportion of deaths due to events of undetermined intent among other external causes has been growing for almost four decades. Such a trend was observed in the past during periods of growing mortality of external causes. Yet the steady and long decline in mortality from external causes in Russia that began in 2003 has not stopped the trend. The pushing aside of other external causes continues, though mortality from events of undetermined intent has exceeded both suicide and homicide mortality, and its proportion has increased tenfold, reaching very high levels relative to other countries. In a number of studies done in Russia over the past decade it was argued that such a high proportion depends largely on manipulations with statistics of mortality from external causes, the so-called conversion of socially important causes of death to a latent form.

Based on a review of relevant research and long-term trends of mortality from external causes in Russia and in a selected set of developed countries, the factors behind the persistent rise of the proportion of deaths due to events of undetermined intent are analysed. This makes it possible to expand the contextual framework of the discussion about the factors of the persistent growth of this ‘technical’ indicator and about the hypothesis of the ‘natural’ character of such dynamics.