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Accidental Poisoning, Suicide Push Mortality Rates Up

Rate of death due to injury rose over 5 percent from 1999 to 2004

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time in 25 years, injury mortality rates in the United States rose between 1999 and 2004, according to a report published in the Dec. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Leonard Paulozzi, M.D., of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in Atlanta, and colleagues examined data from the National Vital Statistics System to assess the underlying causes of the mortality increase. Unintentional injuries, suicides and injuries of undetermined cause were the main factors behind the rise, while homicide rates remained stable.

The investigators found that in the 45- to 54-year age group, there was a 24.5 percent increase in mortality due to injury, with an 87 percent increase in mortality due to unintentional poisoning, typically due to drug poisoning. For the 20- to 29-year age group, this increased by 92.5 percent, contributing to a total injury mortality rate increase of 7.7 percent. Death due to suicide by hanging or suffocation increased 48 percent among those aged 45 to 54, and 31.7 percent among those aged 20 to 29.

"Parallel increases in multiple categories and mechanisms of injuries within these two age groups suggest an increase in one or more shared risk factors (e.g., drug abuse)," the authors write.

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