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Car Crashes Leading Cause of Teen Deaths in U.S.
Date:5/5/2010

oys are more likely to die than girls, and older teens are at higher risk of dying than younger teens.

For example, for 12-year-old boys the death rate is 46 percent higher than for girls. At 19, the death rate is three times higher for boys than girls (135.2 deaths and 46.1 deaths per 100,000, respectively), Minino found.

"I wish people would look at these groups with an eye toward intervention," Minino said. Teenagers are a "relatively neglected group when it comes to public health."

Another expert sees the human cost of teen deaths and stressed that even though the number of deaths is low, teenage deaths should not be ignored.

"I hope when people read this report they realize how sobering it is and are not falsely lulled by the fact that these adolescent deaths 'only' make up 1 percent of total deaths," said Dr. Karen Sheehan, medical director of the Injury Prevention and Research Center at Children's Memorial Hospital and medical director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids in Chicago.

When thinking about deaths of young people, it is important to consider the years of potential life lost, she said.

"Every one of these 16,000 adolescents who died will never get married . . . or contribute positively to society," Sheehan said. "We should be appalled that this many deaths happen to children this age, and we should be ashamed that these deaths occur disproportionately in certain populations."

More information

To see the full report, visit the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.



SOURCES: Arialdi M. Minino, M.P.H, statistician, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics; Karen Sheehan, M.D., M.P.H., medical director, Injury Prevention and Research Center, Children's Memorial Hospital, and medical director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids,
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