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August 4, 1993

Fatalities in the War in Croatia, 1991 and 1992Underlying and External Causes of Death

Author Affiliations

From the Public Health Institute of the Republic of Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia.

JAMA. 1993;270(5):626-628. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510050092035

Objective.  —To show the underlying and external causes of death and selected characteristics of those killed in the war in Croatia between March 1991 and December 1992.

Design.  —Analysis of 4339 fatalities recorded on two national mortality statistics documents that specified war operations as the cause of death: a demography mortality statistical form and a death certificate.

Main Outcome Measures.  —The frequency of clinical causes of death and their association with methods of wounding, length of survival, and attendant diagnoses.

Results.  —Half of those killed were men aged 21 to 35 years. Among women killed, the majority were aged 61 to 75 years. Skull fracture with intracranial injuries was the leading cause of death (28.9%), followed by multiple traumas and injuries of unspecified site (17.9%), and thoracic wounds with lung and heart injuries (17.6%). The most common methods of wounding were bombs and fragments of other explosive devices involving 1907 persons (43.9%), followed by deaths from bullet wounds (33.0%). More than 50% of those killed had sustained multiple injuries. In 78.6% of the cases, death immediately followed the wounding.(JAMA. 1993;270:626-628)