Journal of Community Health

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 69–75

Drowning Mortality in the United States, 1999–2006

Original Paper

Abstract

Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional fatalities in the US. Our study described demographics and trend analysis of unintentional drowning mortality in the US from 1999 to 2006, and identifies the changes in deaths for specific population subgroups. Mortality data came from the CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System. Trends during 1999–2006 were analyzed by gender, age group and race. Annual percentage change in deaths/rates and simple linear regression was used for time-trend analysis from 1999 to 2006, and examines its significance. During 1999–2006, there were 27,514 deaths; 21,668 (78.8%) males, 21,380 (77.7%) whites, and 4,241 (15.4%) aged 00–04 years. The annual number of drowning mortality varied from a high of 3,529 in 1999 to a low of 3,281 in 2001. Overall, deaths were increased 1.4% from 3,529 during 1999 to 3,579 deaths during 2006 however, the overall mortality rate decreased by 5%. The proportion of deaths was significantly greater among males than females (27.4 vs. 13.7%: p < 0.001) and blacks than among all other races combined (32.5 vs. 21.3%: p < 0.001). Fatalities reported from California (n = 3,234; 11.75%), Florida (n = 2,852; 10.37%) and Texas (n = 2,395; 8.70%) accounted for 30.82% of all such deaths in the US. Sub-group analyses showed that drowning mortality decreased 0.72% for males but increased 9.52% for females, the trend differ significantly among males and females (p < 0.001). Males, American Indians, and blacks appear to have higher risk of drowning mortality. The trend varied among sexes, age and racial groups from 1999 to 2006. Preventive measures and continuous surveillance is warranted to further decrease these drowning mortalities.

Keywords

Drowning Mortality American Indian Blacks Race United States 

References

  1. 1.
    van Beeck, E. F., Branche, C. M., Szpilman, D., Modell, J. H., & Bierens, J. J. (2005). A new definition of drowning: Towards documentation and prevention of a global public health problem. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 83(11), 853–856.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Peden, M., Oyegbite, K., Ozanne-Smith, J., Hyder, A. A., Branche, C., Rahman, A. K. M. F., et al. (2008). World Report on Child Injury Prevention. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Runyan, C., & Casteel, C. (2004). The state of home safety in America: Facts about unintentional injuries in the home (2nd ed.). Washington DC: Home Safety Council.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005). Drowning Fact Sheet. Retrieved January 21, 2010, from http://www.poseidon-tech.com/us/statistics.html.
  5. 5.
    Centers for Disease Control, Prevention. (2004). Nonfatal and fatal drownings in recreational water settings—United States, 2001–2002. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 53(21), 447–452.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). Water-related injuries: Fact sheet. Retrieved February 13, 2010, from http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.htm.
  7. 7.
    Verive, J. M. (2009). Near drowning. Retrieved February 2, 2010, from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/908677-overview.
  8. 8.
    Quan, L., & Cummings, P. (2003). Characteristics of drowning by different age groups. Injury Prevention, 9(2), 163–168.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Brenner, R. A. (2003). Prevention of drowning in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics, 112(2), 440–445.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lincoln, J. M., Perkins, R., Melton, F., & Conway, G. A. (1996). Drowning in Alaskan waters. Public Health Reports, 111(6), 531–535.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Feds say Florida swimming pool infant drowning rate highest in US. (2008). Retrieved February 14, 2010, from http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2008/12/23/feds-florida-swimming-pool-infant-drowning-rate-highest_20081223517.html.
  12. 12.
    Hoyert, D. L., Arias, E., Smith, B., Murphy, S. L., and Kochanek, K. D. (1999). Deaths: Final data for 1999. Natl Health Stat Report. 49(8): Available from: www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr49/nvsr49_08.pdf [serial on the Internet].
  13. 13.
    Saluja, G., Brenner, R. A., Trumble, A. C., Smith, G. S., Schroeder, T., & Cox, C. (2006). Swimming pool drownings among US residents aged 5–24 years: Understanding racial/ethnic disparities. American Journal of Public Health, 96(4), 728–733.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Batalis, N. I., & Collins, K. A. (2005). Adolescent death: A 15-year retrospective review. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 50(6), 1444–1449.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2001). From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drowning—Louisiana, 1998. JAMA, 286(8), 913–914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Runyan, C. W., Casteel, C., Perkis, D., Black, C., Marshall, S. W., Johnson, R. M., et al. (2005). Unintentional injuries in the home in the United States Part I: Mortality. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(1), 73–79.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lee, L. K., Mao, C., & Thompson, K. M. (2006). Demographic factors and their association with outcomes in pediatric submersion injury. Academic Emergency Medicine, 13(3), 308–313.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Centers for Disease Control, Prevention. (2008). Paddle sports fatalities—Maine, 2000–2007. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 57(19), 524–527.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Landen, M. G., Bauer, U., & Kohn, M. (2003). Inadequate supervision as a cause of injury deaths among young children in Alaska and Louisiana. Pediatrics, 111(2), 328–331.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hudson, D. S. (2005). Immersion and recreational boating related injuries in Alaska. Stockholm: Karolinska Institute.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Baker, S. P., Whitfield, R. A., & O’Neill, B. (1988). County mapping of injury mortality. Journal of Trauma, 28(6), 741–745.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ragan, P. D., Schulte, J. M., Lo, M., Vanderwerf-Hourigan, L. (2007). Analysis of Florida pool drowning deaths in young children. In: The 135th APHA annual meeting & exposition of APHA, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wallace, L. J. D. (2000). Injuries among American Indian and Alaska Native Children, 1985–1996. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Centers for Disease Control, Prevention. (2003). Injury mortality among American Indian and Alaska Native children and youth–United States, 1989–1998. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 52(30), 697–701.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Irwin, C. C., Irwin, R. L., Ryan, T. D., & Drayer, J. (2009). Urban minority youth swimming (in)ability in the United States and associated demographic characteristics: Toward a drowning prevention plan. Injury Prevention, 15(4), 234–239.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kircher, T., Nelson, J., & Burdo, H. (1985). The autopsy as a measure of accuracy of the death certificate. New England Journal of Medicine, 313(20), 1263–1269.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Injury Control Research CenterWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Medicine, Health Science CenterWest Virginia University School of MedicineMorgantownUSA
  3. 3.Stanford Center for Professional DevelopmentStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  4. 4.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)MorgantownUSA

Personalised recommendations