CDC: Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among teens

Of the 16,000 deaths that occur each year among teens 12 to 19 years old, more than one-half are the result of unintentional injuries, according to a report (.pdf file) released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death, accounting for 73 percent of unintentional injury deaths and one-third of teen deaths overall.

Teens make up less than 1 percent of the total number of fatalities annually, with a death rate of 49.5 deaths per 100,000 teens. Males are more likely to die than females, and the risk of death increases with age. Among males, the risk of death increases 32 percent each year; for females, the risk increases 19.5 percent annually.

Death rate also varied by race, with black teens experiencing 64.5 deaths per 100,000 teens, compared with 47.1 among Hispanics and 47.0 among non-Hispanic white teens.

The top five causes of teen death overall were accidents, homicide, suicide, cancer and heart disease.

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