Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Road traffic injuries are a major public health problem. In this study, we chose Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) to analyse the trends during the period 1974-1994 and the relative impact of the traffic injuries death on total mortality and on total avoidable mortality in Belgium. We analysed the geographical trends over a 20-year period at the district level. The YPLL age-adjusted rates were analysed for four successive 5-year periods: 1974-1978, 1980-1984, 1985-1989, 1990-1994 and the ratios of YPLL rates were used to describe changes between 1974 and 1994 at district level. The YPLL rates decrease for 'all causes mortality', 'total avoidable causes' and 'road traffic injuries'. This trend can be observed during the four periods of 5 years. A slowing down of the decrease of the YPLL rates for road traffic injuries, both for men and women is observed: 11.7% between periods 2 and 1, and only 3% between periods 4 and 3 for men (16.2 and 7.5% for women). The geographical analysis shows marked differences between districts. Even though a favourable trend is observed for the traffic injuries deaths in Belgium it is important to highlight the important slowing down of this trend during the most recent years. It is also necessary to underline the importance of geographical disparities in the distribution of YPLL rates within the entire population.