WebMD Health News
Louise Chang, MD
Nov.1, 2007 -- The CDC today warned that the leading cause of death before
middle age is on the rise.
The CDC reports a 7% increase in unintentional injury deaths in the U.S.
from 1999 to 2004. Such deaths are the top killer before age 45.
A total of 625,328 people in the U.S. died of unintended injuries during the
The top causes of unintentional injury deaths are traffic accidents,
poisoning (mainly drug-related), falls, and suffocation.
The unintentional injury death rate was more than twice as high for men as
for women (50.8 deaths per 100,000 men, compared with 23.1 deaths per 100,000
The death statistics, which are based on death certificates, show no
nationwide change in the rates of traffic deaths.
Poisoning deaths may be increasing, notes the CDC, citing previous
New Mexico has the nation's highest rate of unintentional injury deaths, and
Massachusetts has the lowest rate, according to the CDC.
Here's how the states and Washington, D.C., ranked in the annual average of
unintentional deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2004. Those with the same
annual average received the same rank.
The federal government has set a goal of no more than 17.5 unintentional
injury deaths per 100,000 people by 2010.
That's far below the nation's 2004 rate of 37.7 unintentional injury deaths
per 100,000 people.
SOURCES: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Nov. 2, 2007;
vol 56: pp 1137-1141. News release, CDC.
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