Traffic Accidents Are Top Cause of Teen Deaths
More Than a Third of U.S. Teenage Deaths Are Due to Motor Vehicle Accidents
WebMD News Archive
May 5, 2010 -- Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for
America's teenagers, accounting for more than a third of fatalities in this age
group every year, the CDC says in a new report.
The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) says that 48% of
deaths in youngsters 12 to 19 are caused by unintentional injuries. Of these
injuries, 73% are caused by motor vehicle accidents.
Other leading causes of teenage deaths are homicide (13%), suicide (11%),
cancer (6%), and heart disease (3%).
Other major findings reported in the report:
- An average of 16,375 youths 12 through 19 died annually in the U.S. from
1999 to 2006. That's less than 1% of all deaths in the U.S. annually.
- Among teens, non-Hispanic African-American males have the highest death
rate, 94.1 per 100,000, compared to 49.5 per 100,000 for all teens.
- Homicide is the leading cause of death for non-Hispanic African-American
- Male teens are more likely to die than females at every single year between
12 and 19, and older teens are at higher risk of dying than younger ones. At
age 12, for instance, the death rate for males is 20.2 per 100,000, compared to
13.8 per 100,000 for females.
- At age 19, the death rate for males of 135.2 per 100,000 is almost three
times the 46.1 per 100,000 rate for females.
- Starting at age 12, and ending at 19, the death rate among teenage males
increases 32%, on average, for every additional year of age. For females, the
death rate increases 19.5 % for every additional year of age.
The report says non-Hispanic African-American teens are 37% more likely to
die than Hispanic and non-Hispanic white teenagers.
Other findings of the report:
- The death rate for non-Hispanic African-American teenagers is 64.5 per
100,000, compared with 47.1 per 100,000 for Hispanic and 47 per 100,000 for
non-Hispanic white teenagers.
- Among males and females, the death rate for non-Hispanic African-American
male teens is highest.
- The death rate for non-Hispanic African-American male teens is 94.1 per
100,000, compared to 62 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic whites and 68 per 100,000
- The report says African-American males are disproportionately affected by
homicide, which is the leading cause of death for non-Hispanic African-American
male teens. The risk of dying from homicide for non-Hispanic African-American
teenagers is 39.2 per 100,000, compared to 17.1 per 100,000 for Hispanic males
and 2.6 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic white males.
- For girls, the homicide rate is six per 100,000 for non-Hispanic
African-Americans, one per 100,000 for non-Hispanic whites, and two per 100,000
for Hispanics, the CDC report says.