Facts on Injury
Unintentional and intentional injuries are a serious public health concern in Canada:
- In 2003, 13,906 Canadians died as a result of injuries (this figure excludes adverse events in medical care).
- 226,436 people were admitted to hospital in Canada because of injuries, excluding adverse events in medical care, between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003.
- Injuries, excluding adverse events in medical care, are the leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 1 and 44 and the fourth leading cause of death for Canadians of all ages.
- Many non-fatal injuries result in impairments and disabilities such as blindness, spinal cord injury and intellectual deficit due to brain injury.
- Injuries are a major cause of premature mortality and disability in Canada. Fatal and disabling injuries often strike down adolescents and young adults. In 2003, injury, excluding adverse events in medical care, was the second leading cause of potential years of life lost (PYLL) (after cancer) before the age of 70.
- In an international comparison of injury deaths (mortality rates) in 11 developed countries, Canada had the 5th lowest death rate for all injuries, excluding adverse events in medical care, and the 7th lowest rate for suicide. (Fingerhut et al. Advance data from vital and health statistics; no. 303. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Sciences. 1998.)
- The economic burden of unintentional and intentional injuries combined is estimated to be greater than $12.7 billion per year or 8% of the total direct and indirect costs of illness, ranking 4th after cardiovascular disease, musculo-skeletal conditions and cancer. (The economic burden of illness in Canada, 1998. Health Canada, 2002)
- Another economic study estimated that unintentional injuries alone cost Canada more than $8.7 billion annually. (Angus D et al. The economic burden of unintentional injury in Canada, SMARTRISK, 1998)