Why It's Important
Injuries are the leading cause of death among persons aged 1-44 years, resulting in more than 187,000 deaths per year in the United States. An additional 31.7 million persons suffer a non-fatal injury requiring medical attention each year. In addition to the immediate physical consequence, injuries impact health by contributing to:
- Premature death
- Poor mental health
- High medical costs
- Lost productivity
What Is Known
Injury data cover a broad array of topics. Here are some injury-related statistics for the United States:
- Each year, injuries are responsible for:
- More than 187,000 deaths.
- More than 31.7 million emergency department visits.
- More than 2.8 million hospitalizations.
- $406 billion in medical care and lost productivity.
- Intentional injuries account for 7% of all non-fatal injuries and 33% of injury-related fatalities.
- Injuries are the leading cause of disability, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
Who Is at Risk
There are many factors that can affect the risk of unintentional injury and violence:
- Individual characteristics, such as education, age, and sex
- Individual behaviors, such as alcohol use or risk-taking
- Physical environment, such as safe homes and roadways
- Social environment, such as relationships and community cohesion
- Societal factors, such as cultural beliefs, laws, and regulations
How To Reduce Risk
The risk of injury can be reduced in a large number of ways. For unintentional injuries, prevention methods may include changes to the environment, improvements in technology and product safety, or legislation and enforcement of safety laws. For intentional injuries, prevention efforts may include changes in social norms surrounding violence, policy changes that address the social and economic conditions that are associated with violence, or improvements in skills such as conflict resolution and coping.
How It's Tracked
Injuries are tracked using a range of surveys, in addition to mortality statistics. Some examples include:
- National Vital Statistics System (NVSS)
- National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS)
- Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
- National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
- Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS)
- National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS)