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Damage caused by an external force applied to the body resulting from intentional or unintentional means. The “force” may be physical, (e.g., direct penetrating or blunt trauma, heat, a chemical substance), or more loosely speaking, it may be an emotive force such as libelous or slanderous language directed against a person or group. In violence prevention, injury includes any act or series of acts that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm (e.g. psychological, emotional or verbal abuse, harassment, threats of harm and mental injury). In the context of taxonomy and classification, the word “injury” is preferred to “accident” in the ICD and in official documents such as those of the CDC and WHO. The term “accident” is normally reserved for events which are neither predictable nor preventable: most injuries are preventable. Premature death and permanent disability as a result of injury are very large public health problems everywhere, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where as much as 90-95 percent of global injury deaths occur. Affluent and high income countries also suffer, with 50-70% of adolescent deaths due to injuries. In many westernized countries, injury is the leading cause of death from ages 1-44. Injury is a particularly common public health problem among children, adolescents and young adult, (predominantly male), around the world.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine — Public Health and Epidemiology.

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