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Injury

Narrative

Injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among the young and the elderly. Injury includes unintentional accidents as well as intentional violence inflicted by the self or others. Injury prevention can include education, home hazard assessment and modification, as well as laws and regulations, such as seat belt and gun laws, sobriety checkpoints, and prescription drug tracking systems.

In 2010, there were 23.2 million non-fatal injuries among adults aged 18 and over, resulting in emergency department visits, of which 11.2 million or 48 percent were to women (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). At younger ages, men were more likely than women to visit the emergency department for a non-fatal injury. This pattern was reversed, however, for those aged 65 and older, among whom the rate of emergency department use for non-fatal injuries was 10,191.4 per 100,000 women and 7,717.2 per 100,000 men. More than 90 percent of non-fatal injuries treated in an emergency department were unintentional (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Although falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injury in every adult age group, they are more prominent at older ages.1 Being struck by or against an object, motor vehicle crashes, and overexertion are more prominent mechanisms of non-fatal injury at younger ages.

Injuries are the leading cause of death among both men and women aged 18–34. In 2010, men were twice as likely to die of injury as women (102.2 versus 45.9 per 100,000 population; data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Fatal injury rates also vary greatly by race and ethnicity. Among women, injury death rates from all causes were highest for non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native women and lowest for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander women (71.7, 20.7, and 17.5 deaths per 100,000, respectively). Poisoning recently surpassed motor vehicle traffic as the leading mechanism of fatal injury, with the majority caused by drugs.2

With regard to violent deaths, suicide was more common than homicide among women of most racial and ethnic groups, with the exception of non-Hispanic Black women. non-Hispanic Black women had the highest rate of homicide and lowest rate of suicide among all racial and ethnic groups (6.0 and 2.3 deaths per 100,000, respectively).

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Accessed 03/30/12.

2 Warner M, Chen LH, Makuc DM, Anderson RN, Miniño AM. Drug poisoning deaths in the United States, 1980–2008. NCHS data brief, no 81. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2011.

Graphs

Data

Non-Fatal Injury* Among Adults Aged 18 and Older, By Age and Sex, 2010
Age Rate per 100,000 Adults
Females Males
*Non-fatal injuries resulting in an emergency department visit.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Accessed 03/30/12 and 06/11/12.
Total 9,240.10 10,542.00
18-34 years 11,125.20 14,227.00
35-49 Years 8,583.10 10,489.20
50-64 Years 7,008.90 7,632.40
65 Years and Older 10,191.40 7,717.20
Fatal Injury Among Women Aged 18 and Older, by Intent of Injury and Race/Ethnicity, 2010
Race/Ethnicity Rate per 100,000 Women
Total* Unintentional Suicide Homicide
*Includes listed categories in addition to undetermined intent and injury from legal intervention. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Accessed 03/30/12 and 06/11/12.
Non-Hispanic White 55.2 43.3 8.1 1.9
Non-Hispanic Black 32.9 23.4 2.3 6.0
Hispanic 20.7 15.2 2.7 2.2
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 71.7 52.5 10.5 4.6
Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander 17.5 11.4 4.4 1.3