Major Causes of Injury Death and the Life Expectancy Gap Between the United States and Other High-Income Countries | Firearms | JAMA | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
February 9, 2016

Major Causes of Injury Death and the Life Expectancy Gap Between the United States and Other High-Income Countries

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Maryland
  • 2Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2016;315(6):609-611. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15564

The United States experiences lower life expectancy at birth than many other high-income countries. Although research has focused on mortality of the population older than 50 years, much of this life expectancy gap reflects mortality at younger ages,1 when mortality is dominated by injury deaths, and many decades of expected life are lost. This study estimated the contribution of 3 causes of injury death to the gap in life expectancy at birth between the United States and 12 comparable countries in 2012. We focused on motor vehicle traffic (MVT) crashes, firearm-related injuries, and drug poisonings, the 3 largest causes of US injury death responsible for more than 100 000 deaths per year.2

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