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Leading death causes for state’s youth nonmedical

November 22, 2012
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A study by the state found that the leading causes of death for young people in Hawaii are nonmedical conditions such as car accidents and drug poisonings.

Crashes, suicides and homicides take the lives of more Hawaii residents 39 and under than all other causes of death combined, according to the Department of Health and Injury Prevention Advisory Committee study.

The study also found that among residents of all ages, injuries are the third leading cause of death, with the most coming from suicides, falls, drug poisonings, motor vehicle crashes and ocean drownings.

The report provides the most comprehensive data available on fatal and nonfatal injuries in Hawaii since 2006. The statistics were released in conjunction with a five-year plan to reduce and prevent serious injuries.

"The report is invaluable for charting the course to prevent injuries that are a major cause of death and hospitalization in Hawaii," said Health Director Loretta Fuddy.

During an average week in Hawaii, 13 residents die from an injury, 115 are hospitalized and 1,530 are treated for emergencies.

The advisory committee said back-seat passengers should be required to wear safety belts to reduce vehicular fatalities and injuries. Hawaii does not require a seat belt for such passengers over 17.

The committee also recommends requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, and for the state to look at ways to reduce the number of alcohol-impaired drivers on the road.

About half of fatal vehicle accidents involve alcohol-impaired drivers, said state health official Daniel Galanis, an injury-prevention epidemiologist and author of the report.



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