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 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The cost associated with fatal injuries was $214 billion; nonfatal injuries was $457 billion. Each year, 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.
Some deaths double
“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.”
The two studies include lifetime medical 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. Other key findings include:
- Males accounted for a majority (78 percent) of costs for injury deaths ($166.7 billion) and nonfatal injury costs (63 percent; $287.5 billion);
- More than half of the total medical and work-loss costs of injury deaths were from unintentional injuries ($129.7 billion), followed by suicide ($50.8 billion) and homicide ($26.4 billion);
- Drug poisonings, which includes prescription drug overdoses, accounted for the largest share of fatal injury costs (27 percent), followed by transportation-related deaths (23 percent) and firearm-related deaths (22 percent);
- The cost for hospitalized injuries was $289.7 billion in 2013; the cost for injuries treated and released in hospitals and emergency departments was $167.1 billion; and
- Falls (37 percent) and transportation-related injuries (21 percent) accounted for a majority of the costs associated with emergency department treated non-fatal injuries.
“The magnitude of costs associated with injury underscores the need for effective prevention,” said Deb Houry, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Communities and states must increase efforts to implement evidence-based programs and policies to prevent injuries and violence to reduce not only the pain and suffering of people, but the considerable costs to society.”
To review the full report and the study details, visit http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr.
CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control works to prevent injury and violence. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/injury.