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Trends in the leading causes of injury mortality, Australia, Canada and the United States, 2000–2014

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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to highlight the differences in injury rates between populations through a descriptive epidemiological study of population-level trends in injury mortality for the high-income countries of Australia, Canada and the United States.

METHODS: Mortality data were available for the US from 2000 to 2014, and for Canada and Australia from 2000 to 2012. Injury causes were defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision external cause codes, and were grouped into major causes. Rates were direct-method age-adjusted using the US 2000 projected population as the standard age distribution.

RESULTS: US motor vehicle injury mortality rates declined from 2000 to 2014 but remained markedly higher than those of Australia or Canada. In all three countries, fall injury mortality rates increased from 2000 to 2014. US homicide mortality rates declined, but remained higher than those of Australia and Canada. While the US had the lowest suicide rate in 2000, it increased by 24% during 2000–2014, and by 2012 was about 14% higher than that in Australia and Canada. The poisoning mortality rate in the US increased dramatically from 2000 to 2014.

CONCLUSION: Results show marked differences and striking similarities in injury mortality between the countries and within countries over time. The observed trends differed by injury cause category. The substantial differences in injury rates between similarly resourced populations raises important questions about the role of societal-level factors as underlying causes of the differential distribution of injury in our communities.


OBJECTIFS: Souligner les écarts dans les taux de traumatismes des populations au moyen d’une étude épidémiologique descriptive des tendances populationnelles de la mortalité imputable aux traumatismes dans les pays à revenu élevé que sont l’Australie, le Canada et les États-Unis.

MÉTHODE: Les données sur la mortalité étaient disponibles pour les États-Unis de 2000 à 2014 et pour le Canada et l’Australie de 2000 à 2012. Les causes de traumatismes ont été définies selon les codes de causes externes de la Classification internationale des maladies, 10e révision, et ont été regroupées en causes majeures. Les taux ont été ajustés selon l’âge par la méthode directe en utilisant comme structure par âge standard la population projetée en 2000 aux États-Unis.

RÉSULTATS: Les taux de mortalité par accidents de véhicules à moteur aux États-Unis ont baissé de 2000 à 2014, mais ils sont restés nettement supérieurs à ceux de l’Australie ou du Canada. Dans les trois pays, les taux de mortalité par chutes accidentelles ont augmenté de 2000 à 2014. Les taux de mortalité par homicides aux États-Unis ont baissé, mais ils sont restés plus élevés que ceux de l’Australie et du Canada. Les États-Unis affichaient le plus bas taux de suicide en 2000, mais ce taux a augmenté de 24 % entre 2000 et 2014; en 2012, il était supérieur d’environ 14 % à ceux de l’Australie et du Canada. Le taux de mortalité par intoxication aux États-Unis a grimpé de façon spectaculaire entre 2000 et 2014.

CONCLUSION: Les résultats indiquent des différences marquées et des similitudes frappantes dans la mortalité imputable aux traumatismes d’un pays à l’autre et dans chaque pays au fil du temps. Les tendances observées différaient selon la catégorie de causes de traumatismes. Les écarts considérables dans les taux de traumatismes de ces populations, qui disposent de ressources semblables, soulèvent d’importantes questions sur le rôle des facteurs sociétaux comme causes sous-jacentes de la répartition différentielle des traumatismes dans nos communautés.

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Correspondence to Karin A. Mack PhD.

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Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Conflict of Interest: None to declare

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Mack, K.A., Clapperton, A.J., Macpherson, A. et al. Trends in the leading causes of injury mortality, Australia, Canada and the United States, 2000–2014. Can J Public Health 108, e185–e191 (2017).

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