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Epidemiologic Trend in Elderly Domestic Injury

      Background

      The elderly constitute about 12% of the American population, with a projected increase of up to 25% in 2050. Elderly domestic injuries have been recognized as a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study is to determine the 4-y national trend in elderly domestic injury, and we hypothesize that the home remains a significant source of injury.

      Methods

      Data on elderly patients ≥65 y was extracted from the National Trauma Data Bank’s National Sample Project (NSP). Elderly patients with home injuries were compared with non-home injuries. Subsets of hospitalized patients were analyzed for trends in injury site over a 4 y period. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine the predictors of hospitalization and in-hospital mortality.

      Results

      A total of 98,288 patients, representing a weighed estimate of 472,456 elderly patients were analyzed. Forty-two percent of all injuries in the study population occurred at home, followed by motor vehicle crashes (MVC) at 25%. Home injuries as a proportion of annual injuries increased from 37% in 2003 to 40% in 2006. Majority (57%) were admitted to the floor and 14% to the intensive care unit (ICU). On multivariate analysis, African-Americans and Asians were less likely to be hospitalized (odds ratio (OR) 0.57 and 0.50, respectively, with females 47% less likely than males to die after hospitalization (P < 0.001).

      Conclusions

      Home injuries remain the most significant source of elderly hospitalizations after trauma. With a rapidly growing elderly population, there is a need to recognize this specific location of injury and create directed preventive measures to avert elderly domestic injuries.

      Key Words

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