Editorial

Injuries a Leading Cause of Death

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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 previously released by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center.

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. 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. Injuries lead to more than 18,000 hospitalizations and more than 250,000 emergency room visits each year. These visits cost the state an average of $310 million per year.

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