Data on Injuries in Massachusetts

This data set contains numbers and rates for selected injuries statewide and by community. This data is part of the Department of Public Health's Population Health Information Tool (PHIT).

Table of Contents

What is an injury?

Injuries are bodily harm that can be caused by drowning, car crashes, fires, guns, poisonings and drug overdoses, sharp objects, being struck by something, tripping on the sidewalk and more. Injuries may be unintentional (sometimes referred to as “accidental”), intentional self-harm, or intentional assault. Injuries can result in admission to a hospital or observation bed, or an emergency department (ED) visit.

Injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages one to 44 in Massachusetts and are the third leading cause of death for all ages combined. Injuries are also a leading cause of hospital stays and emergency department visits. Annually, there are about 700,000 injuries in Massachusetts treated through hospital admissions and emergency department visits.

Injuries are influenced by demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability status, as well as social determinants of health like working conditions and income, housing and neighborhood safety, built environments and green space, integrated community resources, and accessibility to quality health care.

For additional hospitalization data in PHIT, please see chronic disease hospitalizations and environmental hospitalizations.

Explore these data

Injury data can be used to monitor trends over time, identify communities and populations at increased risk for injury, guide injury prevention programs and policies, and evaluate injury prevention strategies.

Information about these data

Injury data are presented as two measures on this site:

  • Emergency Department (ED) Visits: This measure includes patients who are treated in and released from the emergency department.
  • Hospital Stays: This measure includes hospital admissions and observation stays.

Data on injury-related hospital stays and ED visits do not include cases where the patient died. Injury death data are available within PHIT in the Death dataset.

Geographic data by city, town, or county are based on patients’ residence and may not reflect the location where the individual was injured.

When comparing rates across geographic areas, factors such as access to medical care, health behaviors, and risk factors (e.g., age distribution) should also be considered.

Additional Resources for Information about these data

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