Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
2 tables omitted. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm6141.pdf.
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of deaths among persons aged 0-19 years in the United States. Quantifying years of potential life lost (YPLL) highlights childhood causes of mortality and provides a simple method to identify important causes of premature death and specific groups in need of intervention.1 Deaths attributed to unintentional injuries among persons aged 0-19 years number approximately 12,000 each year in the United States; another 9 million young persons are treated for nonfatal injuries in emergency departments.2 To estimate the burden of premature deaths attributed to unintentional injuries among persons aged 0-19 years, CDC calculated state-specific YPLL by sex, age, race, and injury mechanism based on data from the National Vital Statistics System multiple cause of death files for the period 2000-2009. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which found that an average of 890 years of potential life were lost each year because of unintentional injuries for every 100,000 persons aged 0-19 years. The burden of unintentional injuries was higher among males compared with females, among persons aged <1 year and those aged 15-19 years compared with the other 5-year age groups, among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) compared with those of any other race/ethnicity, and among those residing in two clusters of adjacent states (the South Central states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and the Mountain states of Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota) compared with any other region. These estimates can be used to target injury prevention strategies to young persons most at risk.