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State injury prevention policies and variation in death from injury
  1. Elinore J Kaufman1,
  2. Douglas J Wiebe2
  1. 1Master of Science in Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elinore J Kaufman, Master of Science in Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Blockley Hall 1303, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; elinore{at}


Objectives Death from injury is frequently preventable, but injury remains a leading cause of death in the USA. While evidence-based strategies exist to prevent many types of injuries, effective policies for implementing these strategies at the population level are needed to reduce injury deaths. We identified promising injury prevention policies and evaluated their association with injury death rate (IDR).

Methods We identified 11 injury prevention policies and accessed data on 2013 state and county IDRs. States were divided into strong, moderate and weak tertiles based on total number of policies in place. Adjusted regression modelling compared the strength of state prevention policies with IDRs at the state level and then at the county level to account for variability within states.

Results The strength of state prevention policies (tertile) was not significantly associated with IDR in US states. However, counties in strong policy states had a 11.8-point lower IDR compared with those in weak policy states (p=0.001).

Conclusions States with more injury prevention policies in place have lower rates of death from injury, particularly when evaluated at the county level. Implementing recommended prevention policies holds potential to prevent injury death in the USA.

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