August 2000 Bulletin

Falls leading cause of injury in 1997, says NCHS

Falls were the leading external cause of injury in 1997, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported in its 1997 National Health Interview Survey.

The new NCHS report found there were 11.3 million episodes of falls at an age-adjusted rate of 43.1 per 1,000 persons. Falls were the only category of external causes for which the age-adjusted rate for females exceeded that for males–47.2 vs. 37.6 per 1,000 persons, respectively. The higher episode for falls among women results from the higher rates for persons older than 45 years and especially those 65 years and older where the rate for females was more than twice the rate for males.

Sprains and strains were the injury condition most frequently reported, followed by open wounds and fractures and contusions. The age-adjusted rates were 38.5, 29.0, 23.7 and 19.0 per 1,000 persons, respectively.

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