Deaths From Unintentional Injury Among Adults Aged 65 and Over: United States, 2000–2013

Injury deaths place a large burden on society, and many of these deaths are preventable.

In 2013, unintentional injuries were the eighth leading cause of death among U.S. adults aged 65 and over, resulting in nearly 46,000 deaths.

NCHS has released a report that describes trends in unintentional injury deaths among this age group from 2000 through 2013, highlighting differences by age, race and ethnicity, and urbanization for the five leading causes of unintentional injury death: falls, motor vehicle traffic crashes, suffocation, poisoning, and fire.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2012–2013, 55% of all unintentional injury deaths among adults aged 65 and over were due to falls.
  • From 2000 through 2013, the age-adjusted fall injury death rate among adults aged 65 and over nearly doubled from 29.6 per 100,000 to 56.7 per 100,000.
  • In 2012–2013, the death rate due to suffocation was more than 8 times higher among adults aged 85 and over (26.5 per 100,000) compared with adults aged 65–74 (3.1 per 100,000).
  • Among adults aged 65 and over, the death rate due to fire was more than twice as high for non-Hispanic black adults as for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults.
  • The death rate from motor vehicle traffic crashes among adults aged 65 and over was 1.7 times higher in nonmetropolitan areas compared with metropolitan areas.


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