Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Risk of death from injury is significantly higher in the most rural areas than in the most urban ones

Of the 1,295,919 injury deaths that occurred between 1999 and 2006 in the U.S. -- excluding the 9-11 terrorist attacks -- researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found the risk of injury death was 22 percent higher in the most rural counties than in the most urban ones. And even though homicide rates are significantly higher in cities, unintentional injury deaths in the most rural areas are 40 percent higher than in cities, and the overall rate of unintentional injury deaths are more than 15 times that of homicides. (Photo: Motor vehicle accidents are the most common form of injury death in the U.S.. Last year highway deaths rose 5.6 percent. Drivers are more likely to die on a rural road than other roads) 

"The most common causes of injury death were motor vehicle crashes, leading to 27.61 deaths per 100,000 people in most rural areas and 10.58 per 100,000 in most urban areas," News Medical reports. "Though the risk of firearm-related death showed no difference across the rural-urban spectrum in the entire population as a whole, when age subgroups were studied, firearm-related deaths were found to be significantly higher in rural areas for children and people 45 years and older; however, for people age 20 to 44, the risk of firearm-related death was significantly lower in rural areas."

"Rural counties with large black populations had significantly lower risk of injury death than those with small black populations. The opposite was true for Latino populations: Rural counties with large Latino populations had significantly higher risk of injury death than rural counties with small Latino populations," News Medical reports. "Rural counties with the highest levels of college-educated inhabitants and median income had significantly increased risk of injury death compared to rural counties with the lowest levels of each." (Read more)

The study was released online in Annals of Emergency Medicine, a subscription-only site. To view a news release from the University of Pennsylvania Health Systemclick here.

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