Aim: To investigate whether social and socio-economic characteristics of the population within a parish influence childhood injury.
Methods: The study encompasses all children aged 0-15 y living in Stockholm County over the 3-y period 1999-2001 (about 360,000 children per year), grouped into parish of residence (138 parishes). The effect of parish attributes on injury rate were analysed based on three indices (deprivation, socio-economic status and social integration) derived by a factor analysis of 11 characteristics of the parishes' population, each index being split into three levels. Childhood injury resulting in at least one night of hospitalization during the period 1999-2001 was considered (n = 5540) by index, and rate ratios were calculated for 12 injury causes using parishes forming the best level of the index as the reference group.
Results: Higher levels of deprivation negatively influenced pedestrian injury rates, had a protective effect on other traffic-related injuries, and negatively affected some other types of unintentional injuries. Higher concentrations of people with low socio-economic status did not impact on the risk of traffic and fall injuries, but increased that of burns/scalds and cases of poisoning. Parishes with lower levels of social integration had significantly higher rates of bicycle- and moped-related injuries, and also of self-inflicted ones.
Conclusion: Compositional characteristics of the population in a residential area affect injury to varying degrees and direction according to type of injury. The underlying mechanisms are likely to be specific to injury type.