Oct 12, 2023 - Health

More than 1.3M assault injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2020

U.S. emergency room visits for assault
Data: CDC; Chart: Deena Zaidi/Axios Visuals

Assaults accounted for more than 1.3 million — or roughly 6% — of all injuries treated in emergency departments in 2020, according to new figures from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Why it matters: The data, which doesn't include sexual assaults, provides a snapshot of the burden violence-related injuries places on the health system.

By the numbers: Men (4.9 per 1,000) and women (4.2) were similarly likely to wind up in the emergency department with injuries from assaults, the data collected in the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey showed.

  • Younger adults ages 18 to 24 had the highest rates of assault injuries, followed by those in the 25-44 bracket. Rates of injuries from violence dropped off with age.

Zoom in: Non-fatal injuries cost the U.S. about $2 trillion in 2019. The government set a goal of reducing the rate of assault injuries to about 278 per 100,000 as part of its federal Healthy People 2030 objectives.

  • The data indicates that — at least at the start of the decade — there still was a long way to go.
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