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 611,000 fatalities in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza and pneumonia ranked eighth in 2013, accounting for some 57,000 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.

U.S. DEATH RATES FROM MAJOR CAUSES, 2012-2013

 

    Age-adjusted death rate (1)
Cause of death Number of
deaths, 2013
2012 2013 Percent
change
Heart disease 611,105 170.5 169.8 -0.4%
Malignant neoplasms (tumors) 584,881 166.5 163.2 -2.0
Chronic lower respiratory diseases 149,205 41.5 42.1 1.4
Accidents (unintentional injuries) 130,557 39.1 39.4 0.8
Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) 128,978 36.9 36.2 -1.9
Alzheimer's disease 84,797 23.8 23.5 -1.3
Diabetes 75,578 21.2 21.2 (2)
Influenza and pneumonia 56,979 14.4 15.9 10.4
Kidney disease 47,112 13.1 13.2 0.8
Intentional self-harm (suicide) 41,149 12.6 12.6 (2)
Septicemia 38,156 10.3 10.7 3.9
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 36,427 9.9 10.2 3.0
Hypertension (3) 30,770 8.2 8.5 3.7
Parkinson's disease 25,196 7.0 7.3 4.3
All deaths 2,596,993 732.8 731.9 -0.1%

(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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