History of Injury and Violence as public health problems and emergence of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at CDC

J Safety Res. 2012 Sep;43(4):233-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Oct 1.


Injuries and violence are among the oldest health problems facing humans. Only within the past 50 years, however, has the problem been addressed with scientific rigor using public health methods. The field of injury control began as early as 1913, but wasn't approached systematically or epidemiologically until the 1940s and 1950s. It accelerated rapidly between 1960 and 1985. Coupled with active federal and state interest in reducing injuries and violence, this period was marked by important medical, scientific, and public health advances. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) was an outgrowth of this progress and in 2012 celebrated its 20th anniversary. NCIPC was created in 1992 after a series of government reports identified injury as one of the most important public health problems facing the nation. Congressional action provided the impetus for the creation of NCIPC as the lead federal agency for non-occupational injury and violence prevention. In subsequent years, NCIPC and its partners fostered many advances and built strong capacity. Because of the tragically high burden and cost of injuries and violence in the United States and around the globe, researchers, practitioners, and decision makers will need to redouble prevention efforts in the next 20 years. This article traces the history of injury and violence prevention as a public health priority-- including the evolution and current structure of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Capacity Building
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. / history
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. / organization & administration*
  • Government Programs
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Public Health / history*
  • Public Policy
  • United States
  • Violence / prevention & control
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*