Minority status and the risk of serious childhood injury and death

J Natl Med Assoc. 2005 Mar;97(3):362-9.


Objective: Minority populations have an increased risk for trauma, but little is known about injury rates for minority children. This study compares the causes, rates and outcomes of traumatic injuries between minority and white children in a statewide population sample.

Methods: A cohort study of 5,973 children (age <16) receiving inpatient care for treatment of acute injuries at the pediatric trauma centers in Ohio from 1999--2001. Case records were analyzed for race, injury type, injury severity, length of stay and demographic information. Supplemental data sources included the 2000 U.S. census and Ohio Vital Statistics death certificates 1996--2001.

Main outcome measures: Hospital admission rate, mortality rate, length of stay, rate of admission to rehabilitation service.

Results: African-American children, who composed the vast majority of the minority population sample, were 7.7 more times likely to sustain a burn or gunshot wound, seven times more likely to be struck by a car, six times more likely to be intentionally injured and over twice as likely to killed by an injury than white children. However, after adjusting for injury severity, they have the same mortality, hospital length of stay and referral rate to rehabilitation as white children.

Conclusion: Trauma has a far greater impact on minority children than on white children. Research and development of injury prevention initiatives that specifically target minority children are urgently needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*