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Mental Health Center

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Deaths by Injury Rise in U.S. Adults

Poisoning a Leading Cause of Unintended or Suicidal Injury Deaths, Says CDC
WebMD Health News

Dec. 14, 2007 -- Deaths by injury have become more common in the U.S., and poisoning accounts for much of that trend.

The CDC reports a 5.5% increase in U.S. deaths by injury from 1999-2004. This is the first sustained increase in 25 years. The increase was even larger among 20-29 year olds with a 7.7% increase.

That increase from deaths by injury includes unintended deaths, suicides, and cases in which death certificate data didn't show whether the fatal injuries were intentional or not. The increase was seen in adults aged 20 to 64.

"Unintentional injury mortality rates increased 6.6%, suicide increased 4.3%, and deaths from injury of undetermined intent increased 20.6%," states the CDC.

Most deaths from injuries were unintended, with auto accidents as the top cause of death from unintentional injury.

Rises in poisoning deaths account for more than half of the increase in injury deaths. That's probably due to an increase in drug abuse, "especially prescription drug abuse, since 1999," states the CDC.

Deaths from injury declined in the 1970s, then leveled off in the 1990s before starting to rise in 1999, according to the CDC.

The findings appear in today's edition of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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