Estimating the burden of road traffic injuries among children and adolescents in urban South Asia

Health Policy. 2006 Jul;77(2):129-39. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2005.07.008. Epub 2005 Aug 19.


Over a million people died from road traffic injuries (RTI) globally in the year 2000 and as many as 50 million were injured. Yet there has been little work focused on the South Asia region, let alone the vulnerable segments of population such as children and adolescents. This study aims at measuring the burden of disease caused by urban road traffic injuries among children and adolescents in South Asia. This study selected 26 studies for review and data extraction out of 1505 published articles. Data from the studies were pooled to calculate the proportion and characteristics of child and adolescent RTI, regional RTI incidence and mortality rates, and an estimate of the burden of disease caused by these injuries through the use of the healthy life years lost (HeaLY) composite measure. Our findings showed that the majority of injuries occurred in males (67-80%) and the most frequent age group injured was between ages 0 and 9 representing 40% of cases. Children and adolescents represent an average of 22% of all those with RTI whom seek care. Children and adolescents represented an average of 13% of all RTI deaths. Regional RTI incidence rate was calculated at 880 per 100,000 urban persons aged 0-19. Mortality due to RTI was at 17 deaths per 100,000 urban persons aged 0-19 in South Asia. Burden of disease was calculated 16 HeaLYs per 1000 general population from road traffic mortality alone. With disability data added, then 27.7 HeaLYs per 1000 general population are lost from road traffic injuries in South Asia. The increasing burden of RTI in young persons in South Asia is a call for considering appropriate research and effective interventions. This relatively high loss of healthy life from RTI needs to be addressed by public health systems in South Asia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Asia, Southeastern / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cost of Illness
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Motor Vehicles / classification
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Sex Distribution
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / trends
  • Value of Life
  • Walking / injuries
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality