Injuries leading cause of death in Iowa

Thursday, June 10, 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 a report recently released by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center.

"The Burden of Injury in Iowa" report compiled data from death certificates, inpatient/outpatient discharges, the Iowa Crash Outcomes Data Evaluation System, and the Iowa Trauma Registry over a recent 4-year period. 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. Suicide is the most frequent cause of injury-caused death for Iowans ages 35 to 54 and the third cause of injury-caused death for all ages.

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 $310 million per year.

In addition to the statewide information, the report compiled individual county-level injury data. For the first time, county officials will have access to comprehensive injury data for their specific area.

We encourage everyone to access and take full advantage of this information and apply it in their daily endeavors in the name of safety and protection of the populace.