DefinitionAge-adjusted rate of unintentional injury deaths due to all causes (ICD-10 codes V01-X59, Y85-Y86) per 100,000 population.
NumeratorNumber of unintentional injury deaths in the resident population in a specified time period.
DenominatorMid-year resident population for the same calendar year in a specified time period.
Data Interpretation Issues[http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/pop/index.cfm Alaska population estimates] provided by the State Demographer in the [http://laborstats.alaska.gov/ Research and Analysis Section] of the [http://labor.alaska.gov/ Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development].
Why Is This Important?Unintentional injuries include motor vehicle crashes (passenger and pedestrian); accidental drownings, poisonings and firearm injuries; injuries due to fire or burns; and falls.
Alaska experiences one of the highest unintentional injury rates in the nation, ranking 7th among states in 2016.^1^ In 2017, unintentional injury was the 3rd leading cause of death for all Alaskans, with accidental poisonings and exposure to noxious substances accounting for the highest number of unintentional injury deaths.^2^ Unintentional injuries disproportionately affect the younger population and are a leading cause of death among children and young adults and the leading cause of years of potential life lost in Alaska.[[br]]
1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics. Accident Mortality by State: 2016. [https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/accident_mortality/accident.htm]. Updated January 10, 2018. Accessed January 2, 2019.
2. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Health Analytics and Vital Records Section. Alaska Vital Statistics 2017 Annual Report. [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Documents/PDFs/VitalStatistics_Annualreport_2017.pdf]. Accessed January 2, 2018.
Healthy People Objective: Reduce unintentional injury deathsU.S. Target: 36.4 deaths per 100,000 population
State Target: Healthy Alaskans 2020 Target: 54.8 per 100,000 population
How Are We Doing?In 2017, Alaskans had an unintentional injury mortality rate of 63.0 per 100,000, exceeding the Healthy Alaskans 2020 goal of 54.8 per 100,000. The rate for Alaska Native people was twice as high at 136.3 per 100,000.
Unintentional injuries (including unintentional poisonings) are the 3rd leading cause of death in Alaska. In 2017, unintentional injuries claimed the lives of 427 Alaskans. More Alaskans died from unintentional poisoning and exposure to noxious substances than any other type of unintentional injury; 150 deaths or 35.1% of all unintentional injury deaths.^2^
Among the leading causes of death in Alaska, unintentional injuries ranked first in total years of potential life lost with 12,627 years lost. On average, 29.6 years of life were lost prematurely for each
unintentional injury death.^2^
Since 2008, the age-adjusted rate for unintentional injuries has increased 16.7%.
The northern region (Nome census area, North Slope Borough, and Northwest Arctic Borough) and southwest Alaska (Dillingham census area, Kusilvak census area, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Yukon-Koyukuk census area) exhibited high rates of unintentional injury mortality.[[br]][[br]]
2. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Health Analytics and Vital Records Section. Alaska Vital Statistics 2017 Annual Report. [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Documents/PDFs/VitalStatistics_Annualreport_2017.pdf]. Accessed June 20, 2018.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2016, unintentional injury was the 3rd leading cause of death in the nation, with an age-adjusted rate of 47.4 per 100,000.^3^ Unintentional injury was also the 3rd leading cause of death in Alaska, accounting for 9.5% of all mortality and an age-adjusted rate of 61.9 per 100,000.^4^[[br]]
3. Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu J and Arias E. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics. Data Brief. Mortality in the United States, 2016. [https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293.pdf]. Accessed June 20, 2018.
4. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Health Analytics and Vital Records Section. Alaska Vital Statistics 2016 Annual Report. [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Documents/PDFs/VitalStatistics_Annualreport_2016.pdf]. Accessed June 20, 2018.
Evidence-based PracticesAs part of the Healthy Alaskans 2020 health improvement process, groups of Alaska subject matter experts met over a period of months in a rigorous review process to identify and prioritize strategies to address the 25 health priorities. Public health partners around the state are aligning work around these approaches adapted to Alaska's unique needs.
[[br]]Develop and implement a collaborative approach to reducing fatalities resulting from falls by older Alaskans.
[[br]]Preventing falls to older adults takes a multi-partner, multi-intervention approach. Success requires home-modification, physical activities, vision correction, review of all of medications and multifaceted interventions. While any activity engaged in on its own might show slight impact, overall success requires a collaborative, multi-pronged approach.
[[br]][http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/index.html CDC: Falls - Older Adults]
National Council on Aging- Fall Prevention]
[[br]]Form a task force to determine effective approaches to decreasing poisoning deaths and improve data collection.
[[br]]Unintentional poisoning deaths are increasing each year in Alaska and throughout the country. Promising practices for reducing prescription drug overdose deaths include implementing prescription drug monitoring programs, providing access to Naloxone, screening by physicians, and creating immunity laws. Other recommendations address childhood poisoning from household chemicals and carbon monoxide. However, there has not been a thorough multidisciplinary approach to poison prevention in Alaska, and there is insufficient information about the prescription drug poisoning problem in Alaska to assess how to address it.
[[br]][http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/prevention-of-prescription-drug-overdose-andabuse.aspx Prevention of Prescription Drug Overdose and Abuse]
[http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/prescription-drug-abuse Office of National Drug Control Policy - Prescription Drug Abuse]
[http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/Poisoning/laws/index.html Prescription Drug Overdose: State Laws]
[http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/Poisoning/preventiontips.htm CDC Tips to Prevent Poisonings]
[[br]]Promote best practices for reducing transportation related deaths through enforcement of current laws, integration of public health strategies, public outreach, and education; and promotion of new safety technology through collaboration with safety and private sector organizations and cooperation with state and local governments.
[[br]]Transportation is a leading cause of injury and death in Alaska. Transportation injuries include those suffered on and off roadways and with motorized and non-motorized modes of transportation including cars, trucks, all-terrain vehicles (ATV's), snow machines, boats, bicycles and pedestrians. There are multiple Alaskan transportation strategic plans that include evidence-based action plans for key partners to focus on.
[[br]]Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. [https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/ak_fy17hsp.pdf Strategic Highway Safety Plan]
Alaska Traffic Records Coordinating Committee. [http://www.dot.state.ak.us/stwdplng/hwysafety/assets/pdf/FFY2018_ATRCC_Strategic_Plan.pdf Alaska Traffic Records Strategic Plan].
A listing of strategies, actions, and key partners on this measure can be found at: [http://hss.state.ak.us/ha2020/assets/Actions-Partners_16_UnintentionalInjury.pdf].