among children under 5 years of age and among persons 15–24 years, 25–44 years, and 45–64 years of age. Racial differences were larger for males ages 25–44 years and 45–64 years than for younger or older persons and were larger for females 25–44 years of age than for other groups. (Visit rates by ethnicity were not considered reliable.)

Patterns of Injury by Cause

Among children 1–14 years of age, motor vehicle traffic injuries were the leading cause of death in 1995. Among infants, suffocation was the leading cause of injury death. The five leading causes of injury death among infants and children under 15 years of age—motor vehicle traffic injuries, fires and burns, drowning, suffocation, and firearms—accounted for 80 percent of injury deaths. Among teenagers 15–19 years of age and young adults 20–24 years of age, motor vehicle traffic-related injuries and firearm-related injuries were the two leading causes of death in 1995. For older adults 65–74 years, motor vehicles and firearms were the two leading causes of injury deaths, accounting for one-half of injury mortality. At ages 75–84 years, motor vehicles and falls were the cause of close to one-half of all injury deaths. For those 85 years and over, falls caused one-third of injury deaths.

Hospital discharge rates for open wounds and for internal injuries for all males were 3 times the rates for all females. At ages 15–24 years the discharge rate for open wounds for males was 4.5 times the rate for females. On the other hand, discharge rates for poisoning for females 15–24 years and 45–64 years were 1.6 times the rates for males. In 1992–1994, three out of five injury hospitalizations among elderly persons 75 years of age and over were for fractures, and more than one-half of the fractures were to the hip. Hip fracture rates for elderly females were twice the rates for males.

Among young children and the elderly, falls were the most common cause of injury visits to the ED. For young persons 15–24 years, injuries resulting from being struck, from motor vehicle crashes, and from falls were most likely. The most common injury diagnoses among young children were open wounds and lacerations; for those 15–24 years, superficial injuries and sprains and strains resulted in ED visits, and among the elderly (and especially among females), fractures were the leading diagnosis.

Patterns of Occupational Injury

More than 125 million civilian workers are employed in the United States, with some risk of injury present in all jobs (NIOSH, 1996). In 1995, 6,210 fatal work injuries (5 per 100,000 workers) were reported in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (BLS, 1996). Overall, transportation-related incidents are the

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement