The Social Side of Accidental Death
Denney, Justin T.
Mortality from unintentional injuries, or accidents, represents major and understudied causes of death in the United States. Epidemiological studies show social factors, such as socioeconomic and marital status, relate with accidental death. But social theories posit a central role for social statuses on mortality risk, stipulating greater relevance for causes of death that have been medically determined to be more preventable than others. These bodies of work are merged to examine deaths from unintentional injuries using 20 years of nationally representative survey data, linked to prospective mortality. Results indicate that socially disadvantaged persons were significantly more likely to die from the most preventable and equally likely to die from the least preventable accidental deaths over the follow-up, compared to their more advantaged counterparts. This study extends our knowledge of the social contributors to a leading cause of death that may have substantial implications on overall disparities in length of life.
mortality; unintentional injury; SES; marital status; fundamental cause