CDC: Most U.S. Teen Deaths Preventable

ATLANTA, May 6 (UPI) — More than 16,000 U.S. teens ages 12-19 died each year from 1999 to 2006 — most preventable, federal health officials said Thursday.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics said the leading causes of death among teens are accidents, homicide, suicide, cancer and heart disease.

“Teenage mortality is an important public health issue because the majority of deaths among teenagers are caused by external causes of injury such as accidents, homicide and suicide,” the report said.

“These causes of death are, by definition, preventable.”

Male teens are more likely to die than female teenagers, and older teenagers are at higher risk of dying than younger teenagers, the report said.

The leading causes of teen death remained about the same during the study period — 48 percent died of accidents, 13 percent were homicides, 11 percent were suicides, 6 percent were due to cancer and 3 percent were from heart disease.

Seventy-three percent of all deaths from unintentional injury were due to motor vehicle deaths, the report said.

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