Autopsy practice is on decline despite its recorded numerous benefits. Earlier autopsy based studies in Nigeria were focused on tertiary centers.

This study was a two-year descriptive retrospective study, to analyze the pattern of autopsies performed in secondary and primary centers in Edo state.

About 4.4 cases were performed monthly, with coroner’s inquest and family requests accounting for 93.33% and 4.80% of cases. The mean age of patients was 39.66 years with a peak occurring in the fourth decade. Homicide cases, natural, accidental, suicide and indeterminate cases accounted for 40.00%, 30.48%, 23.80%, 1.90% and 3.81% of the cases.

The relatively high rate unnatural deaths, maternal mortality and ischaemic vascular deaths, especially in the adolescent and young adults in Nigeria, as well as the negative attitude of doctors towards autopsy, calls for concern.