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National Public Health Week: focus on injury prevention
  1. Susan Abramson1,
  2. Georges C Benjamin1,
  3. Richard W Sattin2,3,
  4. Andrea C Gielen3,4
  1. 1American Public Health Association, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, Georgia, USA
  3. 3Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  4. 4Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence toSusan Abramson, American Public Health Association, 800 I Street, NW, Washington, DC, USA; susan.abramson{at}

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More than 20 years ago, the Institute of Medicine called injury ‘probably the most underrecognized major public health problem facing the nation today.’1 Despite the ongoing commitment of governmental and non-governmental organisations to prevent and reduce the burden of injury in the USA, injuries remain the leading cause of death for children and adults between the ages of 1 and 44 years.2 In 2009, hospital emergency departments across the nation treated an average of 55 people every minute for medical problems sustained from injury.2 More than 180 000 Americans died from injury in 2007; the number and age-adjusted rate of death has steadily increased since 2000.2 Millions more are left facing substantial and lifelong physical, emotional, and economic consequences. As with many public health problems, there are notable disparities in the incidence of injury and violence and the ultimate health outcomes among poor children, minorities and those living in rural communities and low-income inner city neighbourhoods. Moreover, …

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