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Motorcycle injuries, deaths rising in U.S.

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PITTSBURGH, Nov 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Pittsburgh researchers say U.S. motorcycle-related injuries and deaths have been rising since 1997 and straining urban teaching hospitals as a result.

The Allegheny General Hospital study, published in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found charges incurred at these hospitals accounted for nearly 70 percent of the $842 million in total hospital charges for motorcycle-related cases in 2001.

That figure, which has risen since 1997, may reflect the fact patients with motorcycle-related head injuries were more likely to be admitted to urban teaching hospitals, a spokesman said.

"These patients had longer stays, with higher total charges," he said. "They were also more likely to be self-pay. These cases likely contribute a substantial economic burden to academic medical centers."

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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