Sex, Age and Cause

Males incurred more deaths due to preventable injuries than females at all ages from birth to age 85 in 2017. The difference between the preventable injury-related death totals ranged from three more male deaths at age 84 to 1,345 more deaths at age 29. The excess number of deaths for males was most evident from the late teen years to the mid-50s, when the gap begins to narrow. From age 86 on, deaths of females exceeded those of males by as little as 34 at age 86 to as many as 450 at age 93.

From birth and for each year through age 97 males have greater preventable injury death rates than females. Death rates for both sexes are lowest from birth until the mid-teen years, where rates rise rapidly. Rates then remain fairly constant until the early 70s, where they again rise steadily with increasing age.

Using the slider control at the top of this interactive chart, one can observe the changes in the number of fatalities during the period 1999 to 2017 for the leading causes of preventable death.

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How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables

Poisoning, motor-vehicle incidents, and falls account for 83% of all preventable deaths. Motor-vehicle deaths start out as the leading cause in 1999, with 42,401 fatalities. They peak at 45,343 in 2005, and then generally decline before starting to rise again in 2015.

Falls begin as the second leading cause of death, with 13,162 fatalities in 1999, and peak at 36,338 in 2017. Beginning at age 86, females die more frequently from falls than males, with 759 fatalities at age 86 versus 718 for males.

Poisoning was the third leading cause of death in 1999, with 12,186 fatalities. It quickly surpassed falls to become the second leading cause in 2002 (17,550 fatalities) and then motor vehicle to become the leading cause of preventable death in 2013 (38,851 fatalities). Poisoning currently stands as the leading cause of preventable death, with 64,795 fatalities in 2017, followed by motor vehicle with 40,231.