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Article |

Fatalities in the Peace Corps A Retrospective Study: 1962 Through 1983

Stephen W. Hargarten, MD, MPH; Susan P. Baker, MPH
JAMA. 1985;254(10):1326-1329. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360100076017.
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Fatalities among Peace Corps volunteers were analyzed for 1962 through 1983, with individual case histories reviewed for all deaths from 1977 through 1983. Unintentional injuries accounted for 70% of the 185 deaths of Peace Corps volunteers, with motor vehicle crashes the number 1 cause of death. The death rate from unintentional injuries for women was significantly higher than the comparable US rate. Motorcycles caused 12% of all Peace Corps deaths and 33% of all motor vehicle deaths. Suicide has emerged as a leading cause of death among volunteers, accounting for 13% of all deaths from 1981 through 1983. Greater emphasis on injury control measures is needed to reduce this toll.

(JAMA 1985;254:1326-1329)


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