Incidence and costs of injuries to children and adults in the United States

Inj Epidemiol. 2018 Oct 8;5(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s40621-018-0167-6.


Background: Injuries are a leading cause of death and acquired disability, and result in significant medical spending. Prior estimates of injury-related cost have been limited by older data, for certain population, or specific mechanisms.

Findings: This study estimated the incidence of hospital-treated nonfatal injuries in the United States (US) in 2013 and the related comprehensive costs. Injury-related emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations were identified using 2013 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) data. Models estimated the costs of medical spending and lost future work due to injuries in 2013 U.S. dollars. A total of 31,038,072 nonfatal injury-related hospitalizations and ED visits were identified, representing 9.8 per 100 people. Hospital-treated nonfatal injuries cost an estimated $1.853 trillion, including $168 billion in medical spending, $223 billion in work losses, and $1.461 trillion in quality of life losses.

Conclusions: Approximately one in 10 individuals in the US is treated in the hospital for injury each year, with high corresponding costs. These data support priority-setting to reduce the injury burden in the US.