(HealthDay News) — Nearly 80% of deaths of Americans age ≤30 result from injury or violence, U.S. health researchers reported Tuesday. In 2010, the top three causes of death for young people were unintentional injury, suicide, and homicide, according to the report, published online July 2 in The Lancet.
For all ages, the top five causes of injury deaths were motor-vehicle crashes, poisoning, falls, firearm suicides, and firearm homicides. Almost four-fifths of deaths of young adults were due to injuries, with only one-fifth due to chronic diseases, and only 1% from infectious diseases. Suicides were more than twice as common as homicides (38,364 suicides versus 16,259 murders).
The highest rates of suicide were found among Native American and Alaskan Natives (16.9 per 100,000) and whites (14.9 per 100,000). Homicide rates for blacks (18.6 per 100,000) were twice those of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, and several times higher than other groups. Compared to women, men were about four times more likely to commit suicide (nearly 20 per 100,000 vs. five per 100,000) or murder (8.3 per 100,000 versus 2.2 per 100,000). Deaths from narcotic painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone nearly quadrupled since 1990, reaching more than 38,300.
“Nearly 180,000 people of all ages in the United States die every year from injury and violence — that’s one death every three minutes,” lead author Tamara Haegerich, PhD, a researcher in the CDC’s division of unintentional injury prevention, told HealthDay.