Frostbite: occurrence, risk factors and consequences

Int J Circumpolar Health. 2000 Apr;59(2):92-8.


Frostbites affect the civilian northern population more commonly than thought earlier. Cumulative lifetime incidences may be as high as 44-68% for all types of frostbite. Incidences of frostbite have mainly been reported in association with military activities but occur also during occupational duties and in recreational situations. Frostbites often affect the extremities and especially the head region. Several different predisposing factors have been reported in relation to frostbites. These can be divided mainly into environmental, individual, behavioural and occasion-linked factors. Actual risk analyses have been conducted for a limited amount of these predisposing factors. Frostbites very often result in different functional disadvantages, some of which can lead to a temporary or permanent disability to work or carry out military duties, while others may impact negatively on occupational activities, or cause hospitalization and invalidity to varying degrees. Further, frostbites often cause sequelae lasting from a few weeks to a lifetime.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Causality
  • Disabled Persons
  • Frostbite / epidemiology*
  • Frostbite / etiology*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Military Personnel
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Severity of Illness Index