Mortality Risk

Mortality Risk

ODDS OF DYING FROM ACCIDENTAL INJURIES

The chart below shows the likelihood, or odds, of dying as a result of a specific type of accident. The odds of dying over a one-year period are based on the U.S. population as a whole, not on participants in any particular activity or on how dangerous that activity may be. For example, more people are killed in auto accidents than in motorcycle accidents or airplane crashes, not because riding a motorcycle or traveling in an airplane is more or less dangerous, but because far more people travel by car. The lifetime chances of dying in a car accident are about 1 in 606 compared with 1 in 174,426 for fatal injuries caused by lightning.

 

ODDS OF DEATH IN THE UNITED STATES BY SELECTED CAUSE OF INJURY, 2013 (1)

Cause of death Number of
deaths, 2013
One-year
odds
Lifetime
odds
All motor vehicle accidents 35,369 8,938 113
     Car occupants 6,625 47,718 606
     Motorcycle riders 4,230 74,735 948
Assault by firearm 11,207 28,208 358
Exposure to smoke, fire and flames 2,760 114,539 1,454
Fall on and from stairs and steps 2,233 141,571 1,797
Drowning and submersion while in or falling into swimming pool 651 485,605 6,162
Firearms discharge (accidental) 505 625,998 7,944
Fall on and from ladder or scaffolding 420 752,688 9,552
Air and space transport accidents 412 767,303 9,737
Cataclysmic storm (2) 63 5,017,918 63,679
Flood 42 7,526,877 95,519
Bitten or struck by dog 35 9,032,253 114,622
Earthquake and other earth movements 34 9,297,907 117,994
Lightning 23 13,744,732 174,426

(1) Based on fatalities and life expectancy in 2013. Ranked by deaths in 2013.
(2) Includes hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, dust storms and other cataclysmic storms.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics; National Safety Council.

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  • The odds of dying from an injury in 2013 were 1 in 1,615 according to the latest data available.
  • The lifetime odds of dying from an injury for a person born in 2013 were 1 in 20.
  • The odds of a car occupant dying in a transportation accident were 1 in 47,718 in 2013; the lifetime odds were 1 in 606 for a person born in 2013.

HEALTH RISKS

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 614,000 fatalities in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza and pneumonia ranked eighth in 2014, accounting for some 55,000 fatalities. However, pandemic influenza viruses have the potential to be far more deadly. An estimated 675,000 Americans died during the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, the deadliest and most infectious known influenza strain to date.

Top 15 Major Causes of Death, 2014

 

      Age-adjusted death rate (1)
Rank Cause of death Number of
deaths
Rate Percent change
from 2013
1 Heart disease 614,348 167.0 -1.6%
2 Malignant neoplasms (tumors) 591,699 161.2 -1.2
3 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 147,101 40.5 -3.8
4 Accidents (unintentional injuries) 136,053 40.5 2.8
5 Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) 133,103 36.5 0.8
6 Alzheimer's disease 93,541 25.4 8.1
7 Diabetes 76,488 20.9 -1.4
8 Influenza and pneumonia 55,227 15.1 -5.0
9 Kidney disease 48,146 13.2 (2)
10 Intentional self-harm (suicide) 42,773 13.0 3.2
11 Septicemia 38,940 10.7 (2)
12 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 38,170 10.4 2.0
13 Hypertension (3) 30,221 8.2 -3.5
14 Parkinson's disease 26,150 7.4 1.4
15 Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids 18,792 5.1 1.9
  All deaths 2,626,418 724.6 -1.0%

(1) Per 100,000 population; factors out differences based on age.
(2) Less than 0.1 percent.
(3) Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics.

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