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Area-based differences in injury risks in a small Swedish municipality – Geographic and social differences

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The current study investigates the geographic and social differences in injury risks across living areas in a small semi-urban Swedish municipality. The study population consisted of all people living in the municipality during the years 1992–1996 (31,820, December 1996). Area comparisons were made based on data related to the municipality's 15 census districts and grouped according to the geographic location and three different social characteristics (proportion of unemployed, of low educated, or of people born outside Sweden). Injury data was gathered for the period 1992–1996 from two data sources: Sweden's National Hospital Discharge Register, and the local outpatient register. Three diagnosis groups were used: all injuries aggregated, traffic injuries and other unintentional injuries. Odds-ratios were calculated for males and females separately. There were no remarkable differences in injury risks between areas, whether compared on the basis of their geographic location or some of their socio-economic characteristics. These findings could be attributed to either a lack of sensitivity of the measures employed or the existence of a well-functioning safety promotion program in the municipality that impacts on injury risk distribution between areas. This, in turn, does not imply that members of underprivileged social groups are not in need of special support regardless of the area to which they belong.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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