Deaths and Risk Behaviors

"In the United States, 72% of all deaths among youth and young adults aged 10–24 years result from four causes: motor vehicle crashes (26%), other unintentional injuries (17%), homicide (16%), and suicide (13%) (1). Substantial morbidity and social problems also result from the estimated 410,000 births (2); 517,174 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis (3); and 2,036 cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (4) reported in 2009 among youth aged 15–19 years. Among adults aged ?25 years, 57% of all deaths in the United States result from cardiovascular disease (34%) and cancer (23%) (1). These leading causes of morbidity and mortality among youth and adults in the United States are related to six categories of priority health-risk behaviors: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and other drug use; 4) sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV infection; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity. These behaviors frequently are interrelated and are established during childhood and adolescence and extend into adulthood."


"Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2011," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 8, 2012) Vol. 61, No. 4, p. 2.