Causes of death among international travellers in Peru, 2017 to 2021

Kasim Allel, Miguel M. Cabada, Collen Lau, Deborah Mills, Richard C. Franklin, Yan Zhu, Luis Furuya-Kanamori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The wellbeing and safety of international tourists is a paramount concern for governments and stakeholders. Mortality among travellers and the causes of death serve as a significant metric of destination safety. We describe the epidemiology and causes of death among international travellers in Peru. Methods: Data retrieved from the Peruvian government's deaths certificates registry included all non-residents who died between January 2017 and December 2021. We analysed the national incidence and causes of death among international travellers in Peru. Causes of death were classified into non-communicable diseases (NCD), communicable diseases and injuries. We classified fatalities according to the existence of preventive measures that could be provided during the travel medicine consultation to decrease the risk. Results: We obtained records from 1514 deaths among international travellers (973 males, 64%). The incidence increased from 0.2 deaths per 10 000 travellers in 2017 to 9.9 in 2021. NCDs were the most common causes of death (n = 560, 37%), followed by communicable diseases (n = 487, 32%), and injuries (n = 321, 21%). Causes of death were unknown in 9.7% of the records. The leading causes of death in these categories were cancer, cardiovascular disease, COVID-19 and trauma. We found similar sex distribution of NCDs in travellers aged >50 years and higher rates of communicable diseases among males across all ages. Injury-associated deaths were significantly higher among males aged 18-29 years (P < 0.001) compared with other sex-age groups. We estimated that for 57.7% of deaths risk could have been decreased through pre-travel advice. Conclusion: Rates of deaths among travellers to Peru increased over time. Most deaths were due to NCDs, followed by communicable diseases and injuries. Pre-travel medical optimization and effective advice focused on age-sex and destination specific risks could reduce risk among travellers. Increased awareness among travel medicine practitioners and improvement of emergency medical response systems in Peru could decrease mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number
JournalJournal of travel medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024


  • America
  • Prevention
  • communicable diseases
  • injuries
  • non-communicable diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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