Study shows injuries and violence create substantial economic burden
The total cost of injuries and violence in the United States was $671 billion in 2013, according to two Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR) released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The cost associated with fatal injuries was $214 billion, while the cost associated with nonfatal injuries was $457 billion.
“Injuries cost Americans far too much money, suffering, and preventable death,” said CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The doubling of deaths by drug poisoning, including prescription drug overdose and heroin, is particularly alarming.”
More than three million people are hospitalized, 27 million people are treated in emergency departments and released, and more than 192,000 die as a result of unintentional and violence related injuries.
The studies include lifetime medical costs and work loss costs for injury-related deaths and injuries treated in hospitals and emergency departments and break down costs by age, gender, and injury intent.
The study concluded,
“Injury prevention programs, strategies, and practices can reduce risks for deaths, enhance protection at the individual, relationship, neighborhood, and societal levels, and substantially reduce the costs identified in this report. Numerous strategies have demonstrated the potential for preventing different causes and mechanisms of injury. For example, street outreach programs that effectively mediate conflicts in high-crime communities have shown promise in reducing firearm-related violence. Information about the cost-effectiveness of injury prevention strategies is also expanding. Child safety seat laws and sobriety checkpoints offer net cost savings, with medical and other resource costs saved that exceed implementation and maintenance costs. These current estimates of the economic burden of fatal injuries can used by decision makers to compare the costs of implementing prevention strategies with the cost that might be avoided by preventing injuries.”
To review the full report and the study details, visit http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr.
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November 12, 2012
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