The annual unintentional injury death rate in the United States declined 29% among persons aged 19 years and younger during the first decade of the 21st century, according to data released recently by the CDC.
Data, compiled by the National Vital Statistics System, were analyzed by the CDC for the period from 2000 through 2009. The unintentional injury death rate dropped from 15.5 per 100,000 persons in 2000 to 11 per 100,000 in 2009 when there were 9,143 deaths.
Although the overall annual rate declined, unintentional injury remained the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in the US, accounting for 37% of all deaths in this age group in 2009. Motor vehicle traffic-related deaths dropped 41% (P<.001), yet these deaths remained the leading cause of unintentional injury death. This category saw the most deaths in 2000 (7,497) and 2009 (4,564).
Research showed that the poisoning death rate for teens aged 15 to 19 years rose 91% (P<.001) from 1.7 per 100,000 to 3.3 per 100,000. Analysts attributed this in part to prescription drug overdoses, including opioid pain relievers.
Death rates also increased for reported unintentional infant suffocations (54%) which helped to drive up the death rate for newborns and infants aged 1 year and younger from 23.1 per 100,000 to 27.7 per 100,000.
Death rates for males were higher than females in each age group; each gender saw a decline: 19.9 per 100,000 to 14.1 per 100,000 males; 10.8 per 100,000 to 7.7 per 100,000 females.
- Declines were observed in all racial/ethnic groups, ranging from 21% (P<.003) for blacks to 38% (P<.001) for Asian/Pacific Islanders.
- American Indian/Alaska Natives had the highest death rate at 30.4 per 100,000 in 2000 and 23.8 per 100,000 in 2009; blacks were the next highest, but at nearly half that rate (16.2 per 100,000 and 12.8 per 100,000).
- Internationally the US unintentional injury death rate ranked 30th out of 34 developed countries in 2008 for persons aged 14 years and younger.
For more information: See the complete report at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm61e0416a1.htm