A new report on injury-related deaths in the United States shows that Injury rates vary dramatically around the country, with data showing that the eight states with the highest rates have more than twice as many deaths per year as the state with the lowest rate. Overall, West Virginia has the highest rates of injury deaths at 97.9 per 100,000 people; and New York the lowest at 40.3 per 100,000 people.
[Photo: Dr. Corinne Peek-Asa]
The variation demonstrates that evidence-based prevention strategies have an impact and can make a real difference in reducing injuries and violence, according to the report, The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, released last week by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Dr. Corinne Peek-Asa, associate dean for research and professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, helped develop the report in her role as previous president of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provided technical review of the document.
The report provides an overview of a wide range of injury and violence-related issues, including seat belts, driving under the influence, child car seats and boosters, distracted driving, motorcycle injuries, homicide, assault, school-related violence, bullying, suicide, and prescription drug overdose and misuse. The report also includes a set of 10 indicators that highlight strategies for preventing injuries and give a look at some key prevention policies and programs.
One particular area of concern is the rise in deaths attributed to drug overdose. According to the report, “Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury deaths in the United States, at nearly 44,000 per year. These deaths have more than doubled in the past 14 years, and half of them are related to prescription drugs (22,000 per year).”
In an interview with US News and World Report, Dr. Peek-Asa said, “Research shows the vast majority of injuries are predictable, preventable and avoidable. By implementing successful public policy and public education campaigns, we can give Americans the tools to stay safe and educate their families.”
To view the state-by-state data, visit: http://www.healthyamericans.org/reports/injuryprevention15/