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CDC: Traffic-Related Pedestrian Deaths Increasing With Age

Also higher for males and racial and ethnic minorities

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Traffic-related pedestrian death rates over the last decade were highest among the elderly, males, and racial and ethnic minorities, according to research published in the April 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Rebecca B. Naumann, M.S.P.H., and Laurie F. Beck, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, analyzed traffic-related pedestrian deaths using 2001 to 2010 data from the National Vital Statistics System, which collects death certificate data from all 50 states.

The researchers found that a total of 47,392 pedestrians (32,873 males and 14,519 females) died from traffic crashes during this period, giving an annualized age-adjusted traffic-related pedestrian death rate of 1.58 deaths per 100,000. Males had a 2.5-fold higher pedestrian death rate compared with females (2.29 versus 0.92). Death rates increased with age -- 6.35 for those 85 years and older compared with 0.83 for those up to 14 years old. American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest pedestrian death rates by race or ethnicity, at 7.73 for males and 2.22 for females.

"The results suggest that the overall pedestrian death rate could increase with the aging and growing racial/ethnic diversity of the U.S. population," Naumann and Beck conclude. "Strategies to prevent pedestrian deaths should include consideration of the needs of older adults and cultural differences among racial/ethnic populations."

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