Contemporary societies exhibit substantial concern with disease and homicide as avoidable causes of death, and yet unintentional injury—physical harm suffered as the result of actions that did not have that harm as a goal—is as prevalent a cause of death as either of these. In the United States in 2014, for instance, unintentional injury was the most common cause of death in all age groups from 1 to 44 years and was only overtaken in older groups because of the increased impact of cancer and heart disease. In the developing world, injury is even more pronounced a problem: 11% of deaths in low-income countries are attributable to injury, compared to 6% in high-income countries, according to the World Health Organization. Moreover, global mortality rates reflect ...

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