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Healthy People 2010 - With Annotations

Chapter 15

Injury and Violence Prevention
Lead Agency: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Goal: Reduce injuries, disabilities, and deaths due to unintentional injuries and violence.

Healthy People 2010 Objectives

Injury Prevention

15-2. Reduce hospitalization for nonfatal spinal cord injuries.

Target: 2.6 hospitalizations per 100,000 population.

Baseline: 4.8 hospitalizations for nonfatal spinal cord injuries per 100,000 population in 1997 (age adjusted to the year 2000 standard population).

Target setting method: 46 percent improvement. (Better than the best will be used when data are available.)

Data source: National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS), CDC, NCHS.

Total Population, 1997 Hospitalizations
for Nonfatal
Spinal Cord Injuries

Rate per 100,000
Race and ethnicity  
 American Indian or Alaska Native DSU
 Asian or Pacific Islander DSU
  Asian DNC
  Native Hawaiian - Pacific Islander DNC
 Black or African American DSU
 White 2.7
 Hispanic or Latino DSU
Not Hispanic or Latino DSU
 Female DSU
 Male 6.1
Education level  
 Less than high school DNC
 High school graduate DNC
At least some college DNC

DNA = Data have not been analyzed. DNC = Data are not collected. DSU = Data are statistically unreliable.
Note: Age adjusted to the year 2000 standard population.

The physical and emotional toll associated with head and spinal cord injuries can be significant for the survivors and their families. Persons with existing disabilities from head and spinal cord injuries are at high risk for further secondary disabilities. Prevention efforts should target motor vehicle crashes, falls, firearm injury, diving, and water safety.

Approximately 5 percent of the persons who sustained a brain injury each year and who do not experience a good recovery were injured with a firearm. About 12 percent of the new cases of quadriplegia and paraplegia each year are attributable to spinal cord injuries related to firearms.(23)

Motor vehicle crashes cause 44 percent of all spinal cord injuries.

Among pedalcyclists killed, most died from head injuries. Similarly, the common cause of death among motorcyclists is catastrophic head injury. Death rates from head injuries have been shown to be twice as high among cyclists in States lacking helmet laws or laws that apply only to young riders, compared with States where laws apply to all riders.

Falls account for 87 percent of all fractures among adults aged 65 years and older and are the second leading cause of both spinal cord injury and brain injury for this age group.(24, 25) Falls also cause the majority of deaths and severe injuries from head trauma among children under age 14 years. Falls account for 90 percent of the most severe playground-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments (mostly head injuries and fractures) and one-third of reported fatalities. Head injuries are involved in about 75 percent of all reported fall-related deaths associated with playground equipment.

Many diving-related incidents also result in spinal cord injury. Diving-related injury first becomes an issue during adolescence. Injuries to males outnumber injuries to females. Diving injuries account for one of eight spinal cord injuries, with half of those injuries resulting in quadriplegia.(55)

Read Operational Definition for this Objective

Read Overview of Injuries

Back to HP 2010 Injury Objectives Page

Rev. 19-Aug-2001 at 22:51 hours.