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May 22, 2012

Injury Center Contributes to State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report

Andrea Gielen, ScD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and past president of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Prevention (SAVIR), along with Center faculty members Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, and Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH, contributed to a new report that finds 24 states scored a five or lower on a set of 10 key indicators of steps states can take to prevent injuries. Two states, California and New York, received the highest score of 9 out of a possible 10, while two states scored the lowest, Montana and Ohio, with 2 out of 10.

 Injuries – including those caused by accidents and violence – are the third leading cause of death nationally, and they are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44. Approximately 50 million Americans are medically treated for injuries each year, and more than 2.8 million are hospitalized. Every year, injuries generate $406 billion in lifetime costs for medical care and lost productivity.
 
The Facts Hurt report, released today by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), concludes that millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced.
 
“While tremendous progress has been made in preventing and treating injury, it remains a leading cause of death for people of all ages and the number one cause of death for children,” said Dr. Gielen “Texting while driving, the increasing numbers of falls in older adults, domestic violence and the astonishing rise in misuse of prescription drugs mean we need to redouble our efforts to make safety research and policy a national priority.”
 
The report also finds that funding for injury prevention for states from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) averages only $0.28 per American – and has dropped 24 percent from fiscal years 2006 to 2011 – and only 31 states have full-time injury and violence prevention directors, which limits injury prevention efforts.
 
The report was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is available on TFAH’s website at www.healthyamericans.org.