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Injuries and Violence are Leading Causes of Death: Key Data & Statistics

Photo: Male teen basketball players talking to their coach

For Americans ages 1-44, injuries are the leading cause of death in the United States.

In the United States, injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages 1-44.1 

The Burden

The consequences of injury are considerable and costly to public health:

  • In 2007, 182,479 persons died from injuries.1
  • In 2007, 2,855,000 persons were hospitalized for an injury.2
  • That same year, 29,757,000 persons were treated for nonfatal injuries in U.S. hospital emergency departments.1

In 2005, injuries accounted for an estimated $406 billion in medical and work loss costs, including deaths, hospitalizations, and ED visits where the patient was treated and released.3

This pie chart illustrates the percent cost of injury by mechanism (cause):
 

Data points for total cost of injury by mechanism pie chart: Twenty-four percent of injuries were due to other causes. Twenty-two percent of injuries were caused by motor vehicle/other road users. Falls accounted for 24 percent of all injuries. Struck by/against injuries accounted for 12 percent of all injuries. Nine percent of injuries were caused by firearms/gunshots. Poisoning accounted for six percent of all injuries. Four percent of all injuries were due to cut/pierce injuries. Two percent of injuries were caused by fires and burns. Drowning/submersion accounted for one percent of all injuries.

The Impact on America’s Youth and Young Adults

Photo: Teenagers standing around a car

For those aged 5-34 in the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death.

Injuries and violence affect us all, but three quarters of all deaths among young people are the result of injuries and violence. 

  • Among persons aged 1–34 years, unintentional injuries alone claim more lives than any other cause.1
  • For those aged 5–34 in the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death, claiming the lives of 18,266 Americans each year.1
  • For 15–24 year olds, homicide is the second leading cause of death and claims more than 8,500 lives each year; suicide is the third leading cause of death among this group and claims 4,140 lives each year.1 
  • For 25–34 year olds, suicide is the second leading cause of death, and homicide is the third leading cause of death.1

While injuries and violence cause death and disability, it is possible to prevent them.  For more information about injuries and CDC’s response, visit the following sites:

 

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online] (2007) [cited 2011 Mar 4]. Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National hospital discharge survey: 2007 summary. National health statistics reports, no. 29. Atlanta, GA: NCHS; 2010.
  3. Finkelstein EA, Corso PS, Miller TR, Associates. Incidence and economic burden of injuries in the United States. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2006.

 

 
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