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Introduction

Motor vehicle crashes, homicides, domestic and school violence, child abuse and neglect, and unintentional drug overdoses are important public health concerns in the United States. In addition to their immediate health impact, the effects of unintentional injuries and violent, intentional injuries extend well beyond the injured person, affecting family members, friends, co-workers, employers, and communities with negative physical, emotional, and social consequences.

Intentional and unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44, and a leading cause of disability for all ages, regardless of sex, race and ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Each year, more than 29 million people suffer an injury severe enough that emergency department treatment is needed. More than 180,000 people each year die from these injuries, with approximately 51,000 of these deaths resulting from a violent event. [Cited from Healthy People 2020]

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports a broad research portfolio that addresses causes and consequences of injuries and how to implement changes among individuals, physical and social environments, and the health system to reduce their incidence and impact across the lifespan. This Research Highlight on injury and violence provides a sampling of funded research activities across the NIH, examples of recent scientific advances, and a selection of resources from both NIH and federal partners.