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Nonfatal Unintentional Injuries in Taiwan
Objectives: The study aims to understand the epidemiologic patterns of nonfatal unintentional injuries in Taiwan. Methods: Using the 2001 NHIS(National Health Interview Survey) household data, the study demonstrated the prevalence of medically attended unintentional injuries. The data was collected by a face-to-face questionnaire interview from respondents of 5,789 Taiwan households, 532 mountain households, and 391 off-shore island households, about the household members' nonfatal accident injuries in the past year. Results: Motor vehicle accidents, falls, burns/scalds, and lacerations were the top four causes resulting in medical care in the previous year for Taiwan residents. The prevalence of medically attended motor vehicle and fall injuries in the past year were 2.6%, and were significantly associated with age, household income, and geographic area. Males, aged from 15-24, and from low household income had higher prevalence of motor vehicle injuries. Of those who had motor vehicle injuries, 78.9% were involved with motorcycles, 22.2% did not wear a helmet or buckle up a seat-belt, and 3.5% had drunk alcoholic beverages. Mountain residents had the highest prevalence of drunken(34.6%) or unprotected(38.5%) riding. Respondents aged above 65 had the highest prevalence of fall injuries. The most common place of falling by age was: up/down stairs for ages 14 and under, at a sports field or play ground for ages 15-24, and on a smooth or sloping pathway for ages 25 and over. Conclusions: Motor vehicle accidents and falls were the two leading causes of medically attended injuries for Taiwan residents. Risk factors related to medically attended motor vehicle accident injuries included mountain residency, male, low household income, drivers, motorcycle riders, and drunk or unprotected driving. A high prevalence of medically attended fall injuries was observed in children, in work sites, and at ages 65 or over. It implies the necessity to promote the usage of helmets and seat-belts and the abstinence from drunken driving, and to establish falls management models in schools, in work sites and in communities.
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