Injuries leading cause of Iowa deaths

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Injuries are a leading cause of death among Iowans, with more than 1,500 injury-caused deaths each year - more than four per day - according to an inaugural report recently released by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center.

The report compiled data from death certificates, inpatient/outpatient discharges, the Iowa Crash Outcomes Data Evaluation System, and the Iowa Trauma Registry from 2002 through 2006. Statewide and county trends are organized by gender, age group and cause of injury.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional deaths due to injury for all Iowans, with teens and young adults, ages 15 to 24, having the highest rates of hospitalizations and emergency department visits due to crashes, according to the report. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for Iowans ages 1 to 34 and the fifth leading cause of deaths for all Iowans.

Deaths from fall-related injuries are the highest cause of injury-caused death among older Iowans age 65 and over.

Smaller counties, those with populations less than 10,000, had the highest injury-caused death rate while counties with populations of more than 50,000, had the lowest injury-death rate.

Deaths account for only a portion of the impact of injuries in lives of Iowans. According to the report, injuries lead to more than 17,000 hospitalizations and more than 250,000 emergency room visits each year. These visits cost the state an average of $300 million per year.

Please be careful out there.