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Undersea Hyperb Med. 2019 Jun-Jul-Aug - Third Quarter;46(4):495-501.

Racial and ethnic trends in unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning deaths.

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Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington U.S>.
University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington U.S.



Government programs have attempted to impact a recognized elevated risk for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning among minority racial and ethnic groups. This study sought to describe U.S. mortality due to unintentional, non-fire-related CO poisoning, examining the distribution and trends by race and ethnicity.


CDC Wonder was used to extract and analyze data on all U.S. resident deaths from unintentional CO poisoning from 2000-2017, categorizing them by year, race, ethnic origin and gender.


The absolute number of unintentional CO deaths decreased from about 450 to 380 per year during the period studied, a number near totally accounted for by the decrease in deaths occurring among non-Hispanic/Latino whites. The number of deaths among the remainder of the population did not significantly change. However, greater growth in minority populations resulted in a similar decline in the mortality rate between non-Hispanic/Latino whites and the combined minority population. The decline in combined minority death rate resulted from a decrease in the Hispanic/Latino white rate. Death rate did not decline in the black or African American population.


All minority groups continue to display a disproportionate number of unintentional non-fire-related CO poisoning deaths compared to non-Hispanic/Latino whites. The decrease in U.S. deaths from unintentional non-fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning from 2000-2017 is accounted for by a decrease in non-Hispanic/Latino white deaths. While numbers of such deaths among minority groups have not changed since 2000, increases in the size of minority populations have resulted in a declining crude death rate for Hispanic/Latino whites.


carbon monoxide poisoning ; ethnic groups ; minority race ; risk

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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