Government Agency Navigation

Adolescent Mortality

Narrative

In 2007, the latest year for which data are available, 13,299 adolescents aged 15 to 19 years died of various causes, representing a rate of 61.9 per 100,000. Unintentional injury was the leading cause of death, followed by homicide, suicide, cancer, and heart disease. Together, these causes account for 84.3 percent of deaths in this age group, although nearly half of all adolescent deaths are attributable to unintentional injury.

The mortality rate of males in this age group was notably higher than that of females (86.9 versus 35.7 per 100,000, respectively). While unintentional injuries account for about half of deaths among both males and females, the proportion of deaths due to homicide, suicide, and cancer vary by sex. One-fifth of deaths among adolescent males were homicides, compared to 7.8 percent of deaths among females. Similarly, 12.8 percent of adolescent male deaths were attributed to suicide, compared to 7.4 percent of adolescent female deaths.

Racial and ethnic disparities also exist, with non-Hispanic Black adolescents experiencing a mortality rate of 85.7 per 100,000, compared to rates of 58.0 and 57.9 per 100,000 among non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanics, respectively. In 2007, unintentional injury was the leading cause of death among adolescents of all racial/ethnic groups, except non-Hispanic Blacks. Nearly 45 percent of adolescent deaths among non-Hispanic Blacks were homicides, compared to nearly one-quarter of deaths among Hispanic adolescents and 4.5 percent of deaths among non-Hispanic White adolescents.

Of the 6,493 adolescent deaths in 2007 due to unintentional injuries, motor vehicle traffic was the leading cause death (70.7 percent), followed by poisoning (12.9 percent). However, of the 10,415 deaths due to both unintentional and intentional (or violence-related) injuries, motor vehicle traffic accounted for 44.1 percent of deaths, while homicide by firearm was the second leading cause of injury death, accounting for 18.2 percent of adolescent deaths of this nature. Firearms accounted for 85.3 percent of homicide deaths and 42.5 percent of suicide deaths among adolescents.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

leading causes of death among adolescents graph

This image is described in the Data section.

deaths due to injury among adolescents graph

Data

Leading Causes of Death Among Adolescents Aged 15-19 Years, by Sex, 2007

Percent of deaths among adolescent males:

  • Unintentional injury: 47.5
  • Homicide: 20.2
  • Suicide: 12.8
  • Cancer: 4.1
  • Heart disease: 2.4
  • All others*: 12.9

Percent of deaths among adolescent females:

  • Unintentional injury: 52.2
  • Homicide: 7.8
  • Suicide: 7.4
  • Cancer: 7.0
  • Heart disease: 3.1
  • All others*: 22.6

*Includes congenital anomalies, cerebrovascular diseases, chronic lower respiratory disease (males), pregnancy and childbirth (females), diabetes (males), influenza and pneumonia (females), septicemia, and all other causes not specified

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Accessed July 2011.

Deaths Due to Unintentional and Intentional Injury Among Adolescents Aged 15-19 Years, 2007

Percent of deaths due to unintentional injury:

  • Motor vehicle traffic: 70.7
  • Poisoning: 12.9
  • Drowning: 4.9
  • Other land transport: 2.0
  • Fire/burns: 1.3

Percent of deaths due to injury*:

  • Motor vehicle traffic: 44.1
  • Homicide (firearm): 18.2
  • Poisoning: 8.0
  • Suicide (firearm): 6.0
  • Suicide (suffocation): 5.9

*Includes unintentional injury, intentional injury, such as homicide and suicide, and injury deaths of undetermined intent.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Accessed July 2011.


Share this!

Downloads