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Women's Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Injury

Narrative

Injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among the young and the elderly. Injury includes unintentional accidents as well as intentional violence inflicted by the self or others. Injury prevention can include education, home hazard assessment and modification, as well as laws and regulations, such as seat belt and gun laws, sobriety checkpoints, and prescription drug monitoring systems.

In 2011, there were 25.6 million nonfatal injuries among persons aged 15 and over, resulting in emergency department visits, of which 12.1 million, or 47 percent, were to females.1 There were 9,496 nonfatal injuries per 100,000 females compared to 11,205 per 100,000 males. Although men had higher rates of nonfatal unintentional and assault injury than women, women had higher rates of injury due to self harm (222 versus 163 per 100,000).

More than 90 percent of nonfatal injuries treated in an emergency department were unintentional for both males and females. Unintentional falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injury for women in every age group with the exception of 15–19 year olds for whom being struck by or against an object was the leading cause (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Unintentional injury rates due to falls increase with age (find more on Osteoporosis).

Injuries are the most common cause of death among both women and men aged 15–44.2 In 2010, over 56,000, or 41.3 per 100,000, females aged 15 and over died due to injury. Unintentional injury deaths were most common (31.2 per 100,000), followed by suicide and homicide (6.3 and 2.5 per 100,000 females; data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Although men have higher rates of fatal injury (101.1 per 100,000), females have experienced substantially greater increases in fatal injury rates over the past decade (18.0 versus 5.5 percent; data for men not shown). Between 2000 and 2010, motor vehicle traffic death rates declined while poisoning death rates more than doubled to become the leading mechanism of fatal injury, with the majority caused by drugs and specifically prescription painkillers.3 Women are more likely to have chronic pain and may be more vulnerable to prescription painkiller dependency.4 Fatal injury rates due to falls also increased over the past decade.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System link leaves hrsa.gov site (WISQARS): Nonfatal Injury. Accessed 07/06/13.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System link leaves hrsa.gov site (WISQARS): Leading Causes of Death. Accessed 07/06/13.

3 Warner M, Chen LH, Makuc DM, Anderson RN, Miniño AM. Drug poisoning deaths in the United States, 1980–2008. NCHS data brief, no. 81. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2011.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. VitalSigns: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses. July 2013. Accessed 06/15/13.

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Graphs

Data

Nonfatal Injury* Rates Among Persons Aged 15 and Older, by Intent and Sex, 2011
Intent Rate per 100,000 People, Female Rate per 100,000 People, Male
*Injuries resulting in emergency department visits; all rates are age-adjusted.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Accessed 07/07/13.
Unintentional 8,737 10,155
Assault (includes injuries sustained during legal intervention, e.g., police pursuit and restraint) 537 887
Self-Harm 222 163
Total 9,496 11,205
Fatal Injury Rates Among Females Aged 15 and Older, by Selected Mechanism, 2000 and 2010 (All rates are age-adjusted)
Selected Mechanism Rate per 100,000 Females, 2000 Rate per 100,000 Females, 2010
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Accessed 07/07/13.
Motor Vehicle Traffic 11.0 7.6
Poisoning 5.8 13.1
Falls 4.7 8.2
Total 35.0 41.3