CDC: Almost 40% of unintentional injury deaths are preventable

Atlanta – Approximately 39 percent of the premature deaths caused by unintentional injuries in the United States every year could be prevented, according to a new study from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, published in the May 2 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, lists unintentional injuries as the fifth leading cause of premature death (defined as death before age 80). The top four causes are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and stroke.

Unintentional injury risk factors include drug and alcohol use (including prescription drug misuse), lack of safety belt and motorcycle helmet use, exposure to occupational hazards, and unsafe homes and communities. The study suggests that if all states had the lowest observed unintentional injury death rate, 37,000 lives could be prolonged every year.

CDC stated in a press release that many risks can be avoided by making changes in personal behaviors, but noted that others are due to social, demographic, environmental, economic and geographic attributes of the neighborhoods in which people live and work.