Although a great deal of longevity research in the United States and other countries centers on medical ailments associated with old age, deaths from these three causes mentioned above primarily happen to individuals at younger ages, meaning that there are many various decades of life lost.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that injuries involving drug poisonings, overdoses, violence and car crashes are the leading causes of death for Americans up to aged 44. In these three injuries categories, U.S. death rates exceeded those from 12 other developed countries. Life expectancy in 2012 in those other countries was 78.6 years although it was 76.4 years in the United States for men, accounting for almost half of that difference were injury related deaths. Life expectancy for women was similarly higher with 83.4 years versus 81.2 years. In instances involving women, injury related deaths accounted for less of the difference at about 20%.

Gun deaths were a critical factor for early death among men. Per 100,000 men, the rate of gun deaths in the United States was 18.4 versus 1 in comparison countries. Drug related deaths played a significant impact for women. Mortality from car crashes and firearm injuries contribute a great deal to mortality in the United States.

According to a Duke University sociologist who has completed similar research, improving life expectancy in the United States will require addressing premature deaths among younger ages. This research seems to support the concept that many preventable injuries and deaths, such as those associated with car accidents, will continue to be a key area of focus for lawmakers and injury prevention specialist around the world.

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