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Buffalo ranks high in avoiding injuries

The good news keeps rolling along.

The Buffalo Bills won their home opener. Summer weather wants to stick around longer than usual.

Now, Men's Health magazine has crunched the numbers and, in a new listing, found Buffalo to be one of the least injury-prone cities in the country.

Yes, it appears we fall off ladders, unintentionally poison ourselves and report to the emergency room less often than most others.

The report looked at federal statistics on emergency room visits and fatal workplace accidents, as well as accidental deaths from car crashes, poisonings, falls, fires and drownings to come up with a ranking for the 100 largest cities.

After also adding in some data on bandage sales, the results showed Rochester as the least accident-prone city, followed by Burlington, Vt.; Los Angeles; Hartford, Conn.; and then Buffalo.

Charleston, W.Va., earned the spot as the most accident-prone city, followed by Jacksonville, Fla.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Little Rock, Ark.

It's nothing to get too smug about.

"I'm always a little skeptical of statistics like these. The list is interesting, but I'm not sure if it's helpful. Unintentional injuries remain the leading cause of death in youths," said Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV, Erie County health commissioner.

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for people 1 to 44 years old. More than 16 percent of the population -- 44.7 million -- reported needing treatment for at least one injury in 2000, according to statistics from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We still need to be very vigilant about injury prevention," Billittier said.

Maybe he is right about being skeptical.

Last month, the magazine came out with a list of the least and most fast-food addicted cities, based on such criteria as the number of McDonald's and Burger King outlets. Out of 100 cities, Buffalo ranked as the least fast food-addicted.

More good news -- unless your idea of fast food includes chicken wings and pizza.

e-mail: hdavis@buffnews.com

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