More than 97,000 people died of preventable injuries in the United States last year, according to Injury Facts 2001, the National Safety Council's (NSC) annual report of injury statistics, which was released this month.

The new edition of Injury Facts, which includes a Home and Community section, reports that unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. In 2000, 29,500 people died from unintentional injuries in the home and community, 9,300 of them from falls.

"Research shows that injuries result from hazardous conditions, which can be corrected, and unsafe behaviors, which can be changed," said Alan C. McMillan, National Safety Council president.

The topic of falls receives special emphasis in Injury Facts, which is available in book or CD-ROM versions. A table shows the estimated number of fall-related episodes by the type of fall for sex and age groups. Falls are the number one cause of injury-related death for males 80 and older and for females 75 and older.

Unintentional injuries continue to be the leading cause of death among people aged 1-34. Additionally, nonfatal injuries result in 20.5 million disabling injuries annually.

The 2001 edition of Injury Facts - the 81st annual report by the NSC on unintentional injuries - also addresses such safety issues as confined spaces, benchmarking, industry-specific death and injury rates, along with new state-by-state data.

Injury Facts can be ordered by calling (800) 621-7619 or online at