Injuries from accidents and violence cost the United States $671 billion in 2013, with men accounting for far more of those costs than women, federal health officials reported Wednesday.
Fatal injuries cost $214 billion and nonfatal injuries cost $457 billion. The amounts include lifetime health and work loss costs for fatal and nonfatal injuries treated in hospitals and emergency departments, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Injuries cost Americans far too much money, suffering and preventable death,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. “The doubling of deaths by drug poisoning, including prescription drug overdose and heroin, is particularly alarming.”
Men accounted for 78 percent ($166.7 billion) of fatal injuries and 63 percent ($287.5 billion) of nonfatal injury costs in 2013. More than half of the medical and work loss costs of fatal injuries were from accidents ($129.7 billion), followed by suicide ($50.8 billion) and murder ($26.4 billion).
Prescription drug overdoses and other drug poisonings accounted for the most fatal injury costs (27 percent), followed by transportation-related deaths (23 percent) and gun-related deaths (22 percent).
The cost of injury-related hospitalizations was $289.7 billion, and the cost of injured patients who were treated and released was $167.1 billion. Falls (37 percent) and transportation-related injuries (21 percent) accounted for most of the costs of nonfatal injuries treated in emergency departments, according to the report.
The findings appear in two studies published Oct. 2 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports.
Each year in the United States, injuries from accidents and violence result in 27 million emergency department visits, 3 million hospitalizations and more than 192,000 deaths, the report found.
Dr. Deb Houry, director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said, “The magnitude of costs associated with injury underscores the need for effective prevention. Communities and states must increase efforts to implement evidence-based programs and policies to prevent injuries and violence to reduce not only the pain and suffering of people, but the considerable costs to society.”
The American College of Emergency Physicians offers injury prevention tips.