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U.S. Accidental Deaths Increasing

U.S. Accidental Deaths Increasing Unintentional Injury Deaths Rose 7% From 1999 to 2004, Says CDC WebMD Health News By Miranda Hitti Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD More from WebMD FAQ:...

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 years studied.

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 women).

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 research.

Accidental Deaths Among States

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.

  1. New Mexico: 60.9
  2. Alaska: 58.6
  3. Mississippi: 58.1
  4. Montana and Wyoming: 53.1
  5. Alabama and Kentucky: 49.7
  6. Tennessee: 49.3
  7. South Carolina: 48.9
  8. West Virginia: 48.7
  9. Oklahoma: 48.1
  10. Louisiana: 47.8
  11. Arkansas: 47.4
  12. Arizona: 47.2
  13. South Dakota: 46.2
  14. Idaho and North Carolina: 44.7
  15. Missouri: 44.3
  16. Georgia: 42.5
  17. Colorado: 41.7
  18. Florida and Nevada: 40.7
  19. Kansas: 39.8
  20. Texas: 39.1
  21. Wisconsin: 38.7
  22. Nebraska: 37.6
  23. Oregon: 37
  24. Vermont: 36.9
  25. North Dakota: 36.6
  26. Indiana and Pennsylvania: 36.2
  27. Delaware: 35.9
  28. Washington: 35.8
  29. Minnesota and Washington, D.C.: 35.6
  30. Maine: 35.5
  31. Virginia: 35.3
  32. Iowa and Utah: 33.8
  33. Ohio: 33.2
  34. Michigan: 32.8
  35. Illinois: 32.7
  36. Connecticut: 31.4
  37. New Hampshire: 29.6
  38. Hawaii: 29.1
  39. California: 28.5
  40. New Jersey: 27.2
  41. Maryland: 25.4
  42. Rhode Island: 24.7
  43. New York: 23.8
  44. Massachusetts: 20.4

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.

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