Rural–Urban Differences in Injury Hospitalizations in the U.S., 2004

Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-9151, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 02/2009; 36(1):49-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.10.001
Source: PubMed


Despite prior research demonstrating higher injury-mortality rates among rural populations, few studies have examined the differences in nonfatal injury risk between rural and urban populations. The objective of this study was to compare injury-hospitalization rates between rural and urban populations using population-based national estimates derived from patient-encounter data.
A cross-sectional analysis of the 2004 Nationwide Inpatient Sample was conducted in 2007. Rural-urban classifications were determined based on residence. SUDAAN software and U.S. Census population estimates were used to calculate nationally representative injury-hospitalization rates. Injury rates between rural and urban categories were compared with rate ratios and 95% CIs.
An estimated 1.9 million (95% CI=1,800,250-1,997,801) injury-related hospitalizations were identified. Overall, injury-hospitalization rates generally increased with increasing rurality; rates were 27% higher in large rural counties (95% CI=10%, 44%) and 35% higher in small rural counties (95% CI=16%, 55%). While hospitalization rates for assaults were highest in large urban counties, the rates for unintentional injuries from motor vehicle traffic, falls, and poisonings were higher in rural populations. Rates for self-inflicted injuries from poisonings, cuttings, and firearms were higher in rural counties. The total estimated hospital charges for injuries were more than $50 billion. On a per-capita basis, hospital charges were highest for rural populations.
These findings highlight the substantial burden imposed by injury on the U.S. population and the significantly increased risk for those residing in rural locations. Prevention and intervention efforts in rural areas should be expanded and should focus on risk factors unique to these populations.

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Available from: Hope M Tiesman, Feb 24, 2015
    • "FAR and Non-FAR areas exhibited similar median elapsed response (5 [IQR 3–10] vs. 5345678min, p < 0.001), on-scene (141011121314151617181920vs. 141011121314151617181920min, p < 0.001) and transport times (1156789101112131415161718192021222324vs. 1278910111213141516171819min, p < 0.001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although much is known about EMS care in urban, suburban, and rural settings, only limited national data describe EMS care in isolated and sparsely populated frontier regions. We sought to describe the national characteristics and outcomes of EMS care provided in frontier and remote (FAR) areas in the continental United States (US). We performed a cross-sectional analysis of the 2012 National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) data set, encompassing EMS response data from 40 States. We linked the NEMSIS dataset with Economic Research Service-identified FAR areas, defined as a ZIP Code >60 minutes driving time to an urban center with >50,000 persons. We excluded EMS responses resulting in intercepts, standbys, inter-facility transports, and medical transports. Using odds ratios, t-tests and the Wilcoxon rank-sum test, we compared patient demographics, response characteristics (location type, level of care), clinical impressions, and on-scene death between EMS responses in FAR and non-FAR areas. There were 15,005,588 EMS responses, including 983,286 (7.0%) in FAR and 14,025,302 (93.0%) in non-FAR areas. FAR and non-FAR EMS events exhibited similar median response 5 [IQR 3–10] vs. 5 [3–8] min), scene (14 [10–20] vs. 14 [10–20] min), and transport times (11 [5.,24] vs. 12 [7,19] min). Air medical (1.51% vs. 0.42%; OR 4.15 [95% CI: 4.03–4.27]) and Advanced Life Support care (62.4% vs. 57.9%; OR 1.25 [1.24–1.26]) were more common in FAR responses. FAR responses were more likely to be of American Indian or Alaska Native race (3.99% vs. 0.70%; OR 5.04, 95% CI: 4.97–5.11). Age, ethnicity, location type, and clinical impressions were similar between FAR and non-FAR responses. On-scene death was more likely in FAR than non-FAR responses (12.2 vs. 9.6 deaths/1,000 responses; OR 1.28, 95% CI: 1.25–1.30). Approximately 1 in 15 EMS responses in the continental US occur in FAR areas. FAR EMS responses are more likely to involve air medical or ALS care as well as on-scene death. These data highlight the unique characteristics of FAR EMS responses in the continental US.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Prehospital Emergency Care
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    • "Several studies investigating urban– rural differences among children and adolescents have reported higher rates in rural settings (Carey et al. 1993; Danseco et al. 2000; Hammig and Weatherley 2003; Owen et al. 2008; Singh et al. 2012). There are also studies that have shown no significant differences (Overpeck et al. 1997; Ni et al. 2002; Coben et al. 2009), and higher rates of injuries among children in urban areas (Gilbride et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous work has explored the significance of residence on injuries. A number of articles reported higher rates of injury in rural as compared to urban settings. This study aimed to evaluate the importance of residency on the occurrence of fractures among children and adolescents within a region in northern Sweden. In a population based study with data from an injury surveillance registry at a regional hospital, we have investigated the importance of sex, age and place of residency for the incidence of fractures among children and adolescents 0-19 years of age using a Poisson logistic regression analysis. Data was collected between 1998 and 2011. The dataset included 9,965 cases. Children and adolescents growing up in the most rural communities appeared to sustain fewer fractures than their peers in an urban municipality, risk ratio 0.81 (0.76-0.86). Further comparisons of fracture rates in the urban and rural municipalities revealed that differences were most pronounced for sports related fractures and activities in school in the second decade of life. Results indicate that fracture incidence among children and adolescents is affected by place of residency. Differences were associated with activity at injury and therefore we have discussed the possibility that this effect was due to the influence of place on activity patterns. The results suggest it is of interest to explore how geographic and demographic variables affect the injury pattern further.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2014
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    • "There was a significant difference between Finnmark and the other areas in the data from Statistics Norway. This category did not follow an urban-rural gradient, which is in line with higher suicide rates being reported in rural communities [3,14,15], whereas other studies have identified this as an urban problem [16]. This study does not report suicides committed by poisoning, and thus the complete picture is not provided. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Many studies indicate rural location as a separate risk for dying from injuries. For decades, Finnmark, the northernmost and most rural county in Norway, has topped the injury mortality statistics in Norway. The present study is an exploration of the impact of rurality, using a point-by-point comparison to another Norwegian county. Methods We identified all fatalities following injury occurring in Finnmark between 2000 and 2004, and in Hordaland, a mixed rural/urban county in western Norway between 2003 and 2004 using data from the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry. Intoxications and low-energy trauma in patients aged over 64 years were excluded. To assess the effect of a rural locale, Hordaland was divided into a rural and an urban group for comparison. In addition, data from Statistics Norway were analysed. Results Finnmark reported 207 deaths and Hordaland 217 deaths. Finnmark had an injury death rate of 33.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. Urban Hordaland had 18.8 deaths per 100,000 and rural Hordaland 23.7 deaths per 100,000. In Finnmark, more victims were male and were younger than in the other areas. Finnmark and rural Hordaland both had more fatal traffic accidents than urban Hordaland, but fewer non-fatal traffic accidents. Conclusions This study illustrates the disadvantages of the most rural trauma victims and suggests an urban-rural continuum. Rural victims seem to be younger, die mainly at the site of injury, and from road traffic accident injuries. In addition to injury prevention, the extent and possible impact of lay people’s first aid response should be explored.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
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