CDC: Unintentional injuries among top five causes of death

April 15, 2010

Unintentional injuries were the fifth leading cause of death in the United States in 2006, according to a National Vital Statistics Report (.pdf file) released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In total, 121,599 deaths were attributable to unintentional injuries -- 5 percent of all deaths in 2006. This is a slight increase from 2005, when unintentional injuries caused 117,809 deaths -- 4.8 percent of all deaths that year.

Unintentional injury was the No. 1 cause of death among people 1-44 years old, responsible for 36.7 percent of all deaths in that age range. However, that percentage has been steadily decreasing since 1980, when unintentional injuries were responsible for 48.9 percent of deaths among the same age group. Unintentional injury deaths were slightly more common among black, Asian and Native American populations, and ranked as the third leading cause of death among males overall.