Recent trends in mortality from unintentional injury in the United States

J Safety Res. 2006;37(3):277-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2006.02.004. Epub 2006 Jul 7.


Introduction: Recent observations suggest that the unintentional injury mortality rate may be increasing in the United States for the first time since 1979.

Method: This study examined trends in unintentional injury mortality by sex, race, mechanism, and age group to better understand these increases.

Results: From 1992 to 2002, mortality increased 11.0% (6.5% for males, 18.5% for females). The mortality rate increased 16.5% among whites, but declined among African Americans and other races. Rates among whites exceeded rates among African Americans for the first time since 1998. Fall rates increased 39.5% from 1992 to 2002, and poisoning rates increased 121.5%. Motor-vehicle rates did not increase overall. Rates in age groups from 40-64 years of age increased for falls, poisoning, and motor-vehicle crashes. Only fall rates increased for the 65+ age group.

Conclusions: These results raise the issue of whether these increases have one or more risk factors in common, such as recent increases in the use of alcohol and prescription drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / mortality
  • Accidents / classification
  • Accidents / mortality*
  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Death Certificates
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Center for Health Statistics, U.S.
  • Poisoning / ethnology
  • Poisoning / mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / ethnology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*