MHLU - Health Status Resource

Unintentional Injuries

Unintentional Injuries

Key Findings: 
  • Age-standardized hospitalization rates for unintentional injuries in Middlesex-London remained fairly stable between 2005 and 2013. Rates for the Peer Group also remained stable, whereas the rates for Ontario decreased significantly between 2005 and 2013. While the rates for Middlesex-London were significantly lower than for the Peer Group, they have been higher than the Ontario rates since 2008 (Fig. 5.1).
  • Between 2005 and 2013 Emergency Department visits for unintentional injury decreased significantly in Middlesex-London, whereas the rates did not change as much in Ontario and the Peer Group (Fig. 5.2).
  • The rates for Emergency Department visits due to injury in Middlesex-London stayed higher than the Ontario rates and lower than the Peer Group rates throughout this time period. However, in recent years they approached the lower rates of Ontario (Fig. 5.2).
  • Age-standardized death rates related to all unintended injuries in Middlesex-London did not change significantly between 2000 and 2011. After an increasing trend in Ontario and the Peer Group between 2000 and 2007, rates have since stabilized. The rates in Middlesex-London, Ontario and the Peer Group were not significantly different from each other (Fig. 5.3).
  • Males and people aged 75+ were significantly more likely to die from unintentional injuries (data not shown).
  • Seniors were at the highest risk for hospitalizations related to unintended injuries. Rates were fairly consistent over the lifespan until age 64, but nearly doubled at age 65 and grew 10 times higher after age 75 (Fig. 5.4). A similar pattern was seen for death rates due to unintended injuries (data not shown).
  • Middlesex-London had significantly lower rates of injury-related hospitalizations compared to the Peer Group up to age group 45-64, after which point rates were no longer statistically different (Fig. 5.4).
  • Rates of injury-related hospitalizations were significantly higher among females than males (data not shown).
  • The highest rate of Emergency Department visits was seen among children in the 0-19 age group followed by seniors aged 75+ (Fig. 5.5).
  • When comparing injury-related Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations across age group age the rates indicate that both the young and the old were most at risk for an injury severe enough to be taken to the Emergency Department but that the oldest age group was most at risk for an injury severe enough to require hospitalization (Fig. 5.4 and Fig. 5.5).
  • Females had a significantly higher rate of hospitalization due to unintentional injuries than males, but males had a significantly higher rate of Emergency Department visits due to unintentional injury than females (data not shown).
Interpretive Notes

Hospitalizations are a good way to measure injuries because they capture the many different types of injuries occurring in the community. They are not, however, a perfect measure as they only represent injuries that are severe enough to require a hospital admission. The rates of injuries seen in the Emergency Department are usually much higher than rates of hospitalizations, and injuries that do not require any visit to the Emergency Department or the hospital are not recorded at all. 

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

Age-standardized rate

Age-standardized rates may be used to compare different geographic areas or time frames to adjust for any differences in the age structure of the populations that could cause a difference in rates.

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