Death be not proud

Ever wonder how many people die by injury in Butte County each year? The U.S. Centers for Disease control know and can even generate a “State Injury Mortality Rate Map” with counties color-coded by frequency of type of injury. For the period between 1989 and 1998, Butte came up in the 75-plus percentile for drowning, poisoning and suicide. But a talk with Lee Annest, the director of the Office of Statistics and Programming at the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, revealed that the stats in smaller counties can be misleading, since just a few accidents can skew the results. So, Annest offered to run the numbers just for us, and what stood out to him was the relatively few injury-related deaths in 1999 and 2000 compared to larger counties, and the fact that about one-quarter of the deaths were from suicide. Of the 249 deaths, 158 were of males. The most occurred in the 35-44 age group.

Butte County deaths 1999, 2000

Cause     Deaths

Unintentional    168

motor vehicle traffic    55

falls    22

poisonings    20

drownings    11

fire/burn    10

suffocation    7

other    43

Suicide    70

firearm    38

suffocation*    16

poisoning    12

other    4

Homicide    10

firearm    5

other    5

Other 1*includes hanging and strangulation