Injury Mortality Among Children and Adolescents, Arizona, 1985-1995

This report was prepared by Christopher K. Mrela, Ph.D., Assistant Registrar of Vital Statistics


Data Tables


Figures


Sources

Key Findings

This section presents some illustrative findings from the figures and tables which comprise the report. When possible, data for the United States are given in order to provide a comparative context for the Arizona injury mortality statistics.

Injury is the leading cause of death among children (except infants under one year) and adolescents both nationwide and in Arizona. Injury surpasses all major diseases as the cause of premature mortality among preschoolers 1-4 years old, children 5-9 years old, children aged 10-14 and adolescents 15-19 years of age). (Table 1 Between 1985 and 1995 injuries caused seven out of every ten deaths (69.3 percent, or 3,461 fatal injuries among 6,256 total deaths of Arizonans 1-19 years old. Unintentional injuries accounted for 2.3 times as many deaths, as homicides and suicides combined (Figure 1).

During 1995, Arizona children and adolescents have been at greater risk for injury deaths compared to their national peers (Figure 2, Table 3).

Compared to the national rates of injury mortality, the 1995 injury death rates were 41 percent higher for Arizona children one to four years old, 23.5 percent higher for children five to nine years old, 86.9 percent higher for children 10-14 years old, and 57.4 percent higher for adolescents 15-19 years old.

However, compared to the average annual rate of injury mortality between 1980 and 1989, the 1995 death rates for injuries were lower for Arizona infants, preschoolers, and children five to nine years old. Among children ten to fourteen years old and adolescents 15-19 years old, their 1995 injury death rates exceeded the average annual rate calculated for the ten-year period from 1980 to 1989 (Figure 3, Table 1).

Among age groups (Table 1), children 5-9 years old had the lowest 1995 rate of injury death (12.1 fatalities per 100,000 Arizona children in this age group), followed by children 10-14 years of age (27.1/100,000), infants (30.4/ 100,000) and preschoolers 1-4 years old (31.4/ 100,000), while the rate was 9.1 times as high for adolescents 15 to 19 years of age (109.9/100,000) compared to children 5-9 years old.

Motor vehicle collisions and drownings are the two major events which lead to an unintentional injury death for children and adolescents (Figure 4, Table 4). Motor vehicle crashes fatally injured 201 Arizona infants, children and adolescents in 1995.

Among children younger than 15 years old who were victims of vehicular injuries in 1995 six out of ten were occupants of motor vehicles (49 out of 87 fatalities, Table 12, Table 13, Table 14, Table 15 and Table 16), three out of ten were pedestrians and one out of ten was riding a bicycle.

Among adolescent motor vehicle fatalities, six out of ten were passengers in motor vehicles (74 out of 114, Table 12 and Table 17), three out of ten were driving a car or a motorcycle (32 among 114) and one out of ten was either a pedestrian (6 fatalities) or riding a bicycle (1 fatality). Unintentional injuries not related to motor vehicles accounted for only 9.1 percent of the total mortality of adolescents in 1995.

The third leading event responsible for an unintentional injury death differed according to age group (Table 4). In Arizona in 1995, it was suffocation (aspiration of food or other foreign object or mechanical suffocation) among infants and children 5 to 9 years old, burning by fire among preschoolers one to four years old, firearms among children 10 to 14 years old, and drug misuse among adolescents 15-19 years old.

American Indian infants, children and adolescents had the highest rates of death from unintentional injuries in every five-year age group between 1985 and 1995. In contrast, Black infants, children and adolescents had the highest nine-year homicide death rates among ethnic groups (Figure 5, Figure 6 and Figure 7, Table 20).

Among children 1-14 years old and adolescents ages 15-19, American Indian residents of Arizona from 1985 to 1995 were at least 2.3 times more likely than Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites to be victims of a fatal unintentional injury (Figure 6, Figure 7, Table 20).

The 1995 homicide rate for adolescents 15-19 years old (33.4/100,000, Figure 8, Table 1) was 3.3 times higher than average annual rate calculated for 1980-1989. The number of homicides more than quadrupled among Arizona adolescents, from 19 in 1985 to 93 in 1995 (Table 2). Seventy-two of these fatalities in 1995 were attributed to firearms, 6.4 times as many as in 1985(See Table 13 and Table 15 in Christopher K. Mrela, Firearm-Related Fatalities, Arizona, 1985-1995. Phoenix: Arizona Department of Health Services, April 1997) During 1985-1995, Black adolescents were 8.8 times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be murdered (Figure 7, Table 20).

The 1995 rate of suicide fatalities among adolescents 15-19 years old (18.7/100,000) decreased 21 percent from the decade-highest rates of 1993 and 1994. (Figure 8, Table 1). During 1985-1995, American Indian teenagers were 2.2 times more likely than Hispanics to end their own lives (Figure 7, Table 20).

Through the 1985 to 1995 period, the average annual rates of death from unintentional injuries among infants (Table 19) were at least 50 percent higher in Graham, La Paz, Navajo, and Pinal counties than the corresponding average annual rate for the state.

In two counties - Apache and Navajo- the average annual 1985-1995 rates of death from unintentional injuries among preschoolers one to four years old exceeded the statewide average of 27.7/100,000 by at least 100 percent (Table 19).

In Graham and Navajo counties, the death rates from unintentional injuries for children 5-9 years old exceeded the respective 1985-1995 statewide rate by at least 100 percent (Table 19).

The 1985-1995 rate of fatal unintentional injuries for children 10-14 years old in Navajo County was more than 2 times greater than the state's rate (Table 19).

The 1985-1995 average annual rates of injury death among adolescents 15-19 years old in Apache and La Paz counties were at least 2.6 times greater than the statewide rate of 50.8/100,000 (Table 19).

From 1985 to 1995, among 2,113 fatally injured infants and children under 15 years, 275 (or 13 percent) were victims of neglect, maltreatment or murder (Table 18).

Injury mortality rates among male children 0-4 years old in 1993 (the latest year for which the injury mortality rates are available by age group, gender and State). ranged from 4.5/100,000 in New Hampshire to 64.8/100,000 in the District of Columbia. Arizona male children 0-4 years old ranked sixteenth (Figure 9) among the states.

During 1993, injury mortality rates among female children 0-4 years old ranged from 4.6/100,000 in New Hampshire to 50.1/100,000 in the District of Columbia. Arizona female children ranked fourteenth in the nation (Figure 10).

Injury mortality rates ranged from 2.4/100,000 males 5-9 years old in New Hampshire to 23.1/100,000 in Arkansas. Arizona males in this age group ranked tenth (Figure 11) among all states.

Among females 5-9 years old in 1993, injury mortality rates ranged from a zero (no fatalities) in the District of Columbia) to 30/100,000 in Alaska. Arizona and Indiana ranked eleventh highest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia (Figure 12).

Injury mortality rates ranged from 2.4/100,000 males 10-14 years old in Hawaii to 51.1/100,000 in Alaska. Arizona boys 10-14 years old ranked fifth highest among the states (Figure 13).

Among females 10-14 years old, injury mortality rates ranged from 2.5/100,000 in Hawaii to 35/100,000 in the District of Columbia. Arizona and Nebraska ranked sixth highest in the nation (Figure 14).

During 1993, injury mortality rates among male adolescents 15-19 years old ranged from 51.8 in New Hampshire to 526/100,000 in the District of Columbia. Arizona male adolescents ranked thirteenth among the States (Figure 15).

Among female adolescents 15-19 years old, the 1993 injury mortality rates ranged from 12/100,000 in Rhode Island to 81.5/100,000 in Montana. Arizona female adolescents ranked eleventh highest in the nation (Figure 16).

 



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