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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.

15-9. Reduce deaths caused by suffocation.

2.9 death per 100,000 population.

Baseline: 4.0 deaths per 100,000 population were caused by suffocation in 1998 (preliminary data; age adjusted to the year 2000 standard population).

Target setting method: Better than the best.

Data source: National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), CDC, NCHS.

Total Population, 1997* Suffocation Deaths
Rate per 100,000
Race and ethnicity  
American Indian or Alaska Native 6.2
Asian or Pacific Islander 3.8
  Asian DNC
  Native Hawaiian - Pacific Islander DNC
Black or African American 4.5
White 3.9
Hispanic or Latino 3.0
Not Hispanic or Latino 4.1
  Black or African American 4.6
  White 4.0
Female 2.3
Male 5.9
Education level (aged 25 to 64 years)  
Less than high school 6.1
High school graduate 4.8
At least some college 2.1
Select Populations  
Homicide DNA
Suicide DNA
Unintentional DNA

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.

*New data for population groups will be added when available.

In 1997, 10,650 persons died from suffocation. In the same year, 934 children aged 14 years and under died from suffocation. Of these children, 64 percent were aged 4 years and under.(33) Approximately 5,000 children aged 14 years and under are treated in hospital EDs for aspirating and ingesting toys and toy parts each year. The majority of childhood suffocations, strangulations, and chokings occur in the home. The total annual cost of airway obstruction injury among children aged 14 and under exceeds $1.5 billion. Children aged 4 years and under account for more than 60 percent of these costs. It is estimated that as many as 30 percent of the infants whose deaths are attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) each year are found in potentially suffocating environments, frequently on their stomachs, with their noses and mouths covered by soft bedding.(34)

Read Operational Definition for this Objective

Read Overview of Injuries

Back to HP 2010 Injury Objectives Page

Last modified: 22-Aug-2001.