Injury Rates in U.K. Vary by Area, Study Says

"There are close to 11,000 deaths from injury each year. Most of these are preventable, making injuries a serious public health concern,” said South West Public Health Observatory Director Julia Verne.

The rates of people killed and admitted to the hospital due to injury in the United Kingdom differ from one local authority (region) to another, according to Injury Profiles, an online data tool was launched by the South West Public Health Observatory (SWPHO), on behalf of Public Health Observatories.

Based on data gathered from 2008-2010, nearly 11,000 people died each year in England from accidental injuries, including more than 2,000 from land transport accidents and nearly 3,300 from falls. The local authority with the highest rate of accidental deaths is Melton in Leicestershire, with a rate of 29 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with Runnymede in Surrey, which had the lowest rate at 5.5 deaths per 100,000 people.

In 2010-2011, there were more than 650,500 hospital emergency admissions due to accidental injury, including almost 50,000 due to land transport accidents and 281,000 due to falls from people older than 65 years. Land transport accidents admission rates varied from 189.8 admissions per 100,000 people in Boston, Lincolnshire, to 48.8 admissions per 100,000 people in Kingston upon Thames, London. Falls admission rates in the over 65 age group varied from 4,844.4 per 100,000 in Waltham Forest, London, to 1,259.4 in Eden, Cumbria.

“Years of life lost due to injuries are high. There are close to 11,000 deaths from injury each year. Most of these are preventable, making injuries a serious public health concern,” said SWPHO Director Julia Verne. “Injuries don’t often make the headlines and are consequently something of a hidden public health issue. This needs to change. We know that they disproportionately affect the young, the old, and the least well off.

Errol Taylor, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said, “Injury Profiles will not only enable accident prevention resources to be targeted effectively by highlighting where problems lie, but they will also be extremely useful in evaluating investment in prevention and providing the evidence base for accident prevention as a cost-effective public health initiative.

Other findings from the 2010-2011 profiles show that:

  • There were 137,264 admissions in children under the age of 18 due to accidental injury, with the highest rate of admissions in Liverpool (235.1 per 10,000) and the lowest rate in Three Rivers, Hertfordshire (69.7 per 10,000).
  • Poisoning accounted for more than 123,200 admissions, the rate varying from 539 per 100,000 in Middlesbrough to 67.8 per 100,000 in Wokingham.
  • Falls from a height or from one level to another accounted for 51,500 admissions, the rate varying from 165.9 in Halton in the North West to 42.9 per 100,000 in East Hertfordshire.
  • Alcohol use is estimated to have accounted for more than 167,000 admissions due to injury, the rate varying from 617.9 per 100,000 in Lincoln to 95.9 per 100,000 in Wokingham.

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