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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

MMWR News Synopsis for February 8, 2007

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February 8, 2007

Unintentional Poisoning Deaths – United States, 1999-2004

PRESS CONTACT: CDC - National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
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Unintentional poisoning death rates are significantly increasing, especially drug-related poisoning deaths. Evaluations of the impact of existing and new educational, regulatory and treatment measures will help address the problem. Increases in legal and illegal drug overdoses have significantly contributed to U.S. unintentional poisoning death rates, which rose 62.5 percent from 1999 to 2004. (Prescription drugs, especially prescription painkillers, are driving the prolonged increase, according to previous CDC studies.) Over the five-year period, death rates for drugs increased 68.3 percent, while rates for other substances, such as alcohol and solvents, increased 1.3 percent. The largest poisoning increases were among women (103.0 percent), whites (75.8 percent), people living in the Southern United States (113.6 percent), and people 15-24 years of age (113.3 percent). Rural states saw the steepest increases: 14 of the 17 most rural states more than doubled their rates during this time. This increase continues the steady climb in national drug poisoning death rates that occurred during the 1990s.



  • Historical Document: February 8, 2007
  • Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
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