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Men are twice as likely as women to suffer injury-related deaths according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Injury deaths, Australia 2004-05, found a total of 9,775 deaths with the rate of injury-related deaths per 100,000 people being 63.9 for men and 30.3 for women.

Overall, the most common cause of injury-related deaths was unintentional falls, which accounted for 29% of all injury deaths that occurred in 2004-05. People aged 70 years and over accounted for almost 90% of all deaths in this group.

Unintentional falls were followed closely by suicide and transport injuries, which accounted for 24% and 18% of all injury deaths respectively.

'Men were close to four times as likely as women to commit suicide', said report author Geoff Henley.

'Similarly for transport deaths, men were close to three times as likely as women to die as a result of a transport accident, with men aged 15 to 34 years accounting for almost 33% of all deaths in this group.'

'Almost 87% of all transport-related deaths were as a result of a motor vehicle traffic accident and in 65% of these deaths the victim was an occupant of a motor vehicle.'

The report also found people living in remote areas were more likely to die from an injury, with the rate almost 2.5 times greater in very remote areas than in major cities.

Among the states and territories, the Northern Territory had the highest rate of injury deaths per 100,000 people, at 97.2, with Tasmania having the next highest rate, at 60.0.

The Australian Capital Territory had the lowest rate at 43.7, marginally lower than the national rate (46.7).

The report found just over 25% of all injury deaths involved some type of fracture, with just on two-thirds of fracture deaths involving a hip fracture.

Injuries to the head were also common, accounting for over 17% of all injury deaths. Of these, 40% were recorded as sustaining some form of intracranial injury.

Friday 25 September 2009

Further information: Geoff Henley, AIHW, tel. 08 8201 7621

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.

Full report: Injury deaths, Australia 2004-05