Suicide is the second most common cause of injury death in the ACT behind falls, a new report reveals.
In the ACT, 170 people died from injuries in 2009-10, equivalent to 50.8 deaths per 100,000 of the population above the national age-standardised rate of 45.4 deaths per 100,000 people, data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows.
The ACT had the fifth highest suicide rate in the country with 41 deaths, and at a rate of 11.6 deaths per 100,000 people, it was above the national figure of 10.1 per 100,000.
Falls caused 55 deaths in the ACT in 2009-10, a rate of 17.9 per 100,000 people above the national rate of 13.5 and second only to the Northern Territory.
The ACT followed a national trend in 2009-10 when falls and suicide were the two main causes of injury deaths, accounting for 33 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.
The Northern Territory had the highest injury death rate in the country, at 92.5 deaths per 100,000 people, more than double the national rate, while the ACT was fourth.
Injury deaths in Australia dropped in the decade up to 2009–10 at an average rate of 3 per cent per year, the report showed, from 55.1 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999–00 to 45.4 in 2009-10 when 10,668 people died from injuries.
The report, based on death certificates, found injury death rates tended to rise with increasing remoteness with the rate for residents of remote areas (75.2 deaths per 100,000 people), nearly double the rate for residents of the major cities (40.8 deaths per 100,000).
However, the AIHW did not analyse the decade-long trends for each jurisdiction.
The death rate for most categories of injuries declined over the decade, including suicide, which had an average drop of 2.7 per cent each year.
But the rates of fall deaths, the most common injury death, did not show a marked trend, the AIHW's National Injury Surveillance Unit's Professor James Harrison said.
Deaths related to transport were the ACT's third most common, at a rate of 6.6 per 100,000, slightly below the national figure of 6.7.
Of the 24 ACT transport deaths in 2009-10, 21 were from road injuries.
Unintentional poisoning with pharmaceuticals was the ACT's fourth most frequent cause of injury death, with the 15 deaths equivalent to a rate of four deaths per 100,000, just below the national rate of 4.2.
While poisoning with other substances, including alcohol, killed five people in the ACT, a rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000 below the national rate of 1.7 and the second lowest of all jurisdictions equal to Victoria.
Drowning was the least common cause of injury death in 2009-10, with the four deaths equivalent to a rate of 1.3 deaths per 100,000, on par with national figures.
Professor Harrison said the ACT data for homicides and thermal injuries, caused by contact with smoke, fire or heat, was not published due to low numbers.
But nationally, both categories declined over the decade at an average of 5.2 per cent each year for homicide and 3.2 per cent for thermal injuries.
The report found men were twice as likely to die from injuries at rates of 62.1 deaths per 100,000 and 29.7 for women.
The male injury death rate was higher at every age group, especially 15 to 24 years, and men were three times more likely to die from suicide and twice as likely to die from homicide.
Indigenous Australians had an injury death rate 1.8 times higher than other Australians at 79.6 deaths per 100,000, compared to 45.6 for non-Indigenous people.
Almost half the Indigenous injury deaths were people aged 25 to 44.
Over the decade the rate of injury deaths for people aged 65 and over remained around three times higher than the general population.
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Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the ACT's suicide rate of 11.6 deaths per 100,000 people was below the national figure of 10.1 per 100,000.