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Males Dominate Fatal Injury Statistics

3 October 2005

Fatal Injury Statistics: October 2005

Males Dominate Fatal Injury Statistics

Two thirds of the 1,659 New Zealanders who died from injuries in 2002 were male, Statistics New Zealand said today. Males aged 25 to 34 years had a higher number of deaths (207) than any other age group in 2002. Most males (59 percent) who suffered fatal injuries were aged under 44 years.

Males had a higher age-standardised rate of fatal injury than females in the transport, intentional self-harm, 'all other external causes', falls, and assault categories. Transport accidents were the leading cause of fatal injury, accounting for 32 percent of fatal injuries in 2002. The top two causes of fatal injury for males in 2002 were transport (26 per 100,000 males) and intentional self-harm (17 per 100,000 males).

For females, the majority of injury-related deaths in 2002 were caused by falls (169). However, age-standardised incident rates show that the leading cause of fatal injuries for females was transport (7 per 100,000 females), followed by intentional self-harm (5 per 100,000 females), 'all other external causes' (4 per 100,000 females), and falls (3 per 100,000 females).

The annual number of motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities has decreased in the past decade. In 2004, 446 New Zealanders died as a result of crashes, down from 598 in 1994, a decrease of 25 percent. This is mirrored by the decrease in the age-standardised rate of fatal traffic injuries, from 15 per 100,000 people in 1994, to 10 per 100,000 in 2004, a decrease of 32 percent. Work-related fatal injuries are most likely to occur in industrial and construction areas or on farms.

Almost half of the 81 work-related injury fatalities in 2002 resulted from transport accidents, and those most affected were aged 35 to 44 years. The number of drowning fatalities decreased from 130 in 1994 to 117 in 2004, with the majority of fatalities being male.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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