Researchers from the West Virginia University School of Public Health and Injury Control Research Center found that suicide has now passed motor vehicle traffic crashes as the leading cause of injury deaths in the United States. Additionally, the disease rate has been declining while the injury rate has been rising.
The research team, led by WVU and including scientists from nine other institutions, examined changes in injury mortality and its five leading causes from 2000 through 2009…
“Suicide is now the leading cause of unintentional and violence-related injury mortality as a whole,” Dr. Ian Rockett said. “Suicide only surpassed motor vehicle traffic crashes in the final year available for the study, 2009. The suicide mortality rate was 15 percent higher in 2009 than 2000.”
In addition, the unintentional poisoning mortality rate increased by 128 percent between 2000 and 2009.
“Unintentional poisoning has risen to third among the leading causes of injury mortality, a change that appears mainly driven by the enormous increase in the rate of fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers,” Rockett said.
While motor vehicle traffic crashes still rank second as a cause of injury death, the rate decreased by 25 percent between 2000 and 2009 and is a universal success story, according to Rockett.
“Much time, attention and resources have been devoted to traffic safety,” he said. “Similar efforts will be needed for success in other spheres of injury prevention…”
The research also reported findings related to gender, race/ethnicity and age…secondhand smoke, income, any number of interesting vectors are considered in the study. As soon as it’s available to ordinary civilians like me – I look forward to reading the other interesting tidbits about changes in the way we achieve death too soon.