Cause and Source of Self-Reported Injuries


Lead Author(s): 

Andrew N. Pollak, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Although all are traumatic injuries, the NHIS separates falls from trauma caused by vehicular accidents, machinery, moving objects, and other types of traumatic injuries in self-reported data. Trauma was the most common cause of musculoskeletal injuries for which medical attention was sought, accounting for slightly more than half the injuries. This was particularly true for young adults age 18 to 44 years, when sports and activities can be the source of musculoskeletal injuries. However, for older persons, particularly those age 75 years and older, falls accounted for three in four injuries for which they sought medical attention. Males were also more likely to suffer an injury requiring medical attention as a result of trauma, while females reported falls and trauma about equally as the cause of the injury. (Reference Table 6A.1.2.1 PDF CSV)
Self-Reported Cause of Medically Consulted Injuries by Sex, United States 2012
Self-Reported Cause of Medically Consulted Injuries by Age, United States 2012
It has long been known that most accidents occur in or around the home. In 2012, people reported more than one-half of the injuries for which they sought medical treatment occurred in the home (31%) or outside the home or farm (21%). Other common places of injury are recreation sites, public streets, and sidewalks. The proportion of injuries that are musculoskeletal is highest for injuries incurred at recreation sites, including fields, courts, parks, lakes, and rivers. More than three of four injuries for these sites were musculoskeletal. Injuries occurring inside the home had the lowest ratio of being musculoskeletal. (Reference Table 6A.1.2.2 PDF CSV)

The type of activity engaged in was not significantly different as a cause of musculoskeletal versus injuries to other body systems. More injuries occur when involved in non-sport leisure activities than any other activity. Sports and working in and around the home or other workplace are the cause of similar numbers of injuries for which medical care is sought. (Reference Table 6A.1.2.3 PDF CSV)
Self-Reported Activity at Time of Injury for Which Medical Attention Was Sought, United States 2012


  • 2014

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