U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Injury

Injuries can often be controlled by either preventing an event (such as a car crash) or lessening its impact. This can occur through education, engineering and design of safety products, enactment and enforcement of policies and laws, economic incentives, and improvements in emergency care. Some examples include the design, oversight, and use of child safety seats and seatbelts, workplace regulations regarding safety practices, and tax incentives for fitting home pools with fences.

In 2007, unintentional falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injury among women of every age group, and rates generally increased with age. Women aged 65 years and older had the highest rate of injury due to unintentional falls (60.7 per 1,000 women), while fewer than 20 per 1,000 women aged 18–34 and 35–44 years experienced fall-related injuries. Unintentional injuries sustained as motor vehicle occupants were the second leading cause of injury among 18- to 34-year-olds (18.4 per 1,000 women), while unintentional overexertion was the second leading cause of injury among women of all other age groups; 13.7 per 1,000 women aged 35–44 years experienced injury due to overexertion, as did 9.8 per 1,000 women aged 45–64, and 5.9 per 1,000 women aged 65 years and older.

Unintentional and intentional injuries each represented a higher proportion of emergency department (ED) visits for men than women in 2006. Among women and men aged 18 years and older, unintentional injuries accounted for 18.7 and 25.1 percent of ED visits, respectively, while intentional injuries, or assault, represented 1.7 and 3.0 percent of visits, respectively. Among both women and men, unintentional injury accounted for a higher percentage of ED visits among those living in non-metropolitan areas, while adults living in metropolitan areas had a slightly higher percentage of ED visits due to intentional injury.

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