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Istituto Superiore di Sanità
EpiCentro - Epidemiology for public health
Epidemiology for public health - ISS

Injuries, as broadly defined in the international literature (e.g. resulting from road traffic accidents, domestic accidents, interpersonal or self-inflicted violence, drowning, occupational accidents), are responsible for over 5 million deaths each year worldwide. Injuries account for 9% of all deaths, and are a major public health problem worldwide. It is estimated that, for each death, there are dozens of hospitalizations, hundreds of emergency department visits and thousands of specialist referrals. In addition, a large percentage of people who survive an injury are left with temporary or permanent disabilities.


The World Health Organization estimates that, worldwide, 1.2 million people are killed in road traffic accidents each year and about 50 million are injured. The economic impact of road traffic accidents is also significant: their cost as a proportion of GDP is estimated to range from 1% for low-income countries to 1.5% and 2% for middle-income and high-income countries, respectively. Moreover, road traffic accidents place considerable strain on household finances, as families incur healthcare costs arising from potential disabilities.


All of the above emphasizes the public health importance of this problem.


Publication date: 26 January 2021