MHLU - Health Status Resource

Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury

Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury

Key Findings: 

Overall

  • The leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among both males and females in Middlesex-London was falls, followed by motor vehicle collisions (Fig. 5.6).
  • In 2013, the age-standardized rate of hospitalizations due to falls was 5.5 times greater than the rate of hospitalizations due to motor vehicle collisions in females and almost four times greater in males (Fig 5.7).
  • Between 2005 and 2013 the hospitalization rate due to falls increased among males (Fig. 5.7). No other rates for leading causes of hospitalization changed significantly during this time period.
  • The leading cause of injury-related Emergency Department visits among both males and females were falls, followed by being struck by or against an object. The third leading cause was overexertion among females and being cut or pierced by an object among males (Fig. 5.8).
  • Rates of Emergency Department visits due to injuries from falls were similar among males and females and so were rates for overexertion and motor vehicle collision. However, rates for being struck by or against an object and being cut or pierced by an object were much higher among males than among females (Fig. 5.8).
  • The leading cause of injury-related death in both sexes was falls, followed by motor vehicle collisions among males and poisoning among females. The third leading cause of death was motor vehicle collisions among females and poisoning among males (Fig. 5.6).
  • Falls
  • The age-standardized rate of hospitalizations due to falls in Middlesex-London increased significantly between 2005 and 2013 (Fig. 5.9).
  • While the rate of hospitalizations due to falls in Middlesex-London remained significantly lower than the Peer Group rate during this time period it surpassed the provincial rate in 2009 and has since remained higher (Fig. 5.9).
  • Trends indicate that deaths related to falls, were relatively low (10.6 per 100,000 in Middlesex-London in 2011) and did not change between 2005 and 2011 (data not shown).
  • Hospitalization rates due to falls did not differ between males and females.  However,
    • males tended to be more likely to die from injuries due to falls than females.  Although this was not a statistically significant difference in Middlesex-London a similar and statistically significant difference between sexes were seen in both Ontario and the Peer Group (data not shown).

    The age-specific rates of hospitalizations due to falls were lowest in the age group 20-44. The rates increased dramatically after age 64 (Fig. 5.10).

    • Motor Vehicle Collisions

    The rate of motor vehicle collisions causing injury declined significantly between 1988 to 2008 in Middlesex-London and Ontario (Fig. 5.11).

  • The trend indicates that the rate of collisions causing injuries was consistently higher in Middlesex-London than Ontario, though not statistically significant (Fig. 5.11).
  • In 2013/14 almost 88% of the population aged 12 and older reported that they always wear their seat belt as passengers in a vehicle (Fig. 5.12).
  • Females in Middlesex-London were significantly more likely to wear a seatbelt compared to females in Ontario (Fig. 5.12).
  • In Middlesex-London those aged 65+ were significantly more likely to wear a seatbelt compared to younger people in Middlesex-London and compared to those 65+ in Ontario and the Peer Group (data not shown).
  • The rate of collisions causing injury or death where the driver had consumed alcohol declined steeply between 1988 and 2008 (Fig. 5.13) and declined as age increased for both Middlesex-London and Ontario (Fig. 5.14).
  • Poisoning

The rate of hospitalizations due to poisoning in Middlesex-London was significantly higher in 2013 compared to 2005. The rate in Middlesex-London varied compared to Ontario and the Peer Group (Fig. 5.15)

Patterns show that hospitalizations for poisoning increased as age increased but visits to the Emergency Department for poisoning decreased as age increased until age 65-74 and then increased in the age group 75+ (data not shown).

Interpretive Notes

Rates in small populations are often unstable due to the relatively small number of events that occur each year. Different from what is seen for time trends in Middlesex-London, Ontario time trends are fairly smooth from one year to the next and the confidence intervals are also very small.  For many types of injuries there are small numbers of events occurring in Middlesex-London, and small changes in the number of events from year to year represent a bigger change in the rate from year to year. As a result the time trends tend to jump up and down. In order to get a good idea of the ’average’ rate imagine a line drawn through the centre of all the time points.

Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol - Section 1, Subsections b-iii, vii

Prevention of Injury and Substance Misuse - Requirement #1

Jargon Explained

Rate

Total number of events (e.g., deaths, births, hospitalizations) divided by the total population for a given time period and geography.

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