Road accidents, pregnancy and childbirth complications, suicide, violence, the AIDS virus and tuberculosis are the biggest killers of young people across the world, according to a study published Friday.
A cyclist hit by a car is transported by Washington D.C. first responders from the scene of the accident, September 10, 2009.
Researchers supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) said their study -- the first to look at global death rates in those aged 10 to 24 -- exposed as myth adolescents' belief that they are stronger and fitter than other age groups.
In reality, they said, 2.6 million young people are dying each year and most of those deaths are preventable. Some 97 percent of the deaths were in low- and middle-income countries.
"Mortality rates in low-income and middle-income countries were almost four-fold higher than were those in high-income countries, a difference that was particularly pronounced for young women," the authors wrote on their study in The Lancet.