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J Forensic Sci. 2011 Sep;56(5):1222-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01878.x. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Motor vehicle accident fatalities trends, Puerto Rico 2000-2007.

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Puerto Rico Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology and Research, PO Box 70184, San Juan 00936, Puerto Rico.


Motor vehicle accident fatalities (MVAF) are an important cause of death that affects millions of people worldwide. Using the Puerto Rico Institute of Forensic Science database, this study accessed the mortality trends of MVAF in Puerto Rico from 2000 to 2007. Descriptive statistics, age-adjusted mortality rates, geographical analysis, and annual percentage change were calculated. An annual mean of 559 MVAF occurred during the study period. The overall MVAF mortality rate declined from 2000 to 2007 (16.6 and 12.4 per 100,000 population, respectively)-mortality rates annually decreased 3%. Most MVAF (80.2%) occurred in men, showing a risk four times higher than women (23.6 and 5.4 deaths per 100,000 populations, respectively). Drivers aged 20-24 years and pedestrians older than 75 years had the highest risk of death. This study emphasizes the need of public health efforts to focus on the prevention of MVAF in the most affected groups.

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