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Injury and Violence

Injury includes a wide range of health topics, from unintentional injuries, such as car crashes and falls, to intentional injuries, such as assault and suicide. The consequences of injury are not just physical. Many people who suffer an injury may also have mental health and financial problems that can last a lifetime. The good news is that many injuries are preventable. From seat belts to violence prevention programs, injury prevention saves lives.
Injuries are the leading cause of death among persons aged 1-44 years, resulting in more than 187,000 deaths per year in the United States. An additional 31.7 million persons suffer a non-fatal injury requiring medical attention each year.1 In addition to the immediate physical consequence, injuries impact health by contributing to:
  • Premature death
  • Disability
  • Poor mental health
  • High medical costs
  • Lost productivity2


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), downloaded on 8/14/2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/WISQARS/.
2. Finkelstein EA, Corso PS, Miller TR. Incidence and economic burden on injuries in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Injury data cover a broad array of topics. Here are some injury-related statistics for the United States:3
  • Each year, injuries are responsible for:
    • More than 187,000 deaths.
    • More than 31.7 million emergency department visits.
    • More than 2.8 million hospitalizations.
    • $406 billion in medical care and lost productivity.
  • Intentional injuries account for 7% of all non-fatal injuries and 33% of injury-related fatalities.
  • Injuries are the leading cause of disability, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.


3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), downloaded on 8/14/2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/WISQARS/.
There are many factors that can affect the risk of injury and violence:
  • Individual characteristics, such as education, age, and sex
  • Individual behaviors, such as alcohol use or risk-taking
  • Physical environment, such as safe homes and roadways
  • Social environment, such as relationships and community cohesion
  • Societal factors, such as cultural beliefs, laws, and regulations
The risk of injury can be reduced in a large number of ways. For unintentional injuries, prevention methods may include changes to the environment, improvements in technology and product safety, or legislation and enforcement of safety laws. For intentional injuries, prevention efforts may include changes in social norms surrounding violence, policy changes that address the social and economic conditions that are associated with violence, or improvements in skills such as conflict resolution and coping.
Injuries are tracked using a range of datasets, in addition to mortality statistics. Some examples include:
  • National Vital Statistics System (NVSS)
  • National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS)
  • Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
  • National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS)
  • National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS)
  • National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)

For more information on tracking injury and violence health objectives, please visit the Healthy People 2020 Injury and Violence Prevention objectives page.

Safety - Adults (BRFSS)


Injury and Pregnancy (PRAMS)


Injury, Safety, and Violence - Adolescents (YRBS)


The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site (http://ibis.health.state.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Thu, 17 August 2017 19:16:04 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.health.state.gov ".

Content updated: Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:26:47 MDT