Estimated Lifetime Medical and Work-Loss Costs of Fatal Injuries — United States, 2013

Injury-associated deaths have substantial economic consequences. In 2013, unintentional injury was the fourth leading cause of death, suicide was the tenth, and homicide was the sixteenth; these three causes accounted for approximately 187,000 deaths in the United States (1). To assess the economic impact of fatal injuries, CDC analyzed death data from the National Vital Statistics System (1) for 2013, along with cost of injury data using the Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (1). This report updates a previous study that analyzed death data from the year 2000 (2), and employs recently revised methodology for determining the costs of injury outcomes, which uses the most current economic data and incorporates improvements for estimating medical costs associated with injury (3).

Number of deaths, crude and age-specific death rates, and total lifetime work-loss costs and medical costs were calculated for fatal injuries by sex, age group, intent (intentional versus unintentional), and mechanism of injury. During 2013, the rate of fatal injury was 61.0 per 100,000 population, with combined medical and work-loss costs exceeding $214 billion. Costs from fatal injuries represent approximately one third of the total $671 billion medical and work-loss costs associated with all injuries in 2013 (3). The magnitude of the economic burden associated with injury-associated deaths underscores the need for effective prevention.

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