How many people die from personal injury every year in the U.S.? What are the leading causes of these injuries? How many were the result of a disease? Were these injuries intentional or not? Every year since 2000 the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide very precises statistics about the type of injuries people suffer in the U.S. They recently released their statistics for 2015 and here are some interesting points:
- Among the entire population of the U.S., Heart Disease was the leading cause of death in 2015, followed closely by Malignant Neoplasms. More than 23% of the 2.7 million deaths recorded in 2015 in the US were related to Heart Disease and 22% were due to Malignant Neoplasms.
- 146,571 people died from Unintentional Injury. This number represents 5.4% of all deaths and is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. just behind Chronic Low Respiratory Disease. Click on the graphs for full size
- Among the 146,571 fatal unintentional personal injuries in 2015 the main cause was poisoning followed by traffic accidents and falls. 47,478 people died from poisoning in 2015 (see graph below). This number represents 32.4% of all fatal unintentional injuries in the U.S. in 2015. 36,161 people died from injuries caused by traffic accidents and 33,161 from injuries caused by falls
As a comparison, In 2000 (see graph below) poisoning was the third leading cause of death from unintentional injury with 12,757 deaths. The main cause of fatal unintentional injury was traffic accidents. It is also interesting to note that in 2000 13,322 people died from falls compared to 33,381 in 2015. This may be explained by the aging population.
- Deaths caused by poisoning are mostly related to opioid overdose resulting from the unprecedented epidemic that has been ravaging America more than in the past for the last several years. Read more at Vox. When looking at the cause of deaths related to poisoning in 2015, 42% of them were attributed to “Accidental poisoning by and exposure to other and unspecified drugs, medicaments, and biological substances” (X44 in the graph below). 41.9% of them were related to “Accidental poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens], not elsewhere classified” (X42 in the graph below)