Objectives: To examine injury mortality rates in Native and non-Native children in the province of Alberta, Canada, over a 10-year period, temporal trends in injury mortality rates (Native vs. non-Native), as well as relative risks of injury mortality (Native vs. non-Native) by injury mechanism and intent, were calculated.
Methods: An observational, population-based study design was used. Mortality data were obtained from provincial vital statistics, with injury deaths identified using external injury codes (E-codes). The relative risk (RR) of injury mortality (Native vs. non-Native) along with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Stratified analyses and Poisson regression modeling were used to calculate adjusted relative risk.
Results: Injury mortality rates declined over the study period, with no difference in the rate of decline between Native and non-Native children. The adjusted relative risk for all-cause injury death (Native vs. non-Native) was 4.6 (95% CI 4.1 to 5.2). The adjusted relative risks (Native vs. non-Native) by injury intent categories were: unintentional injuries, 4.0 (95% CI 3.5 to 4.6); suicide, 6.6 (95% CI 5.2 to 8.5); and homicide, 5.1 (95% CI 3.0 to 8.5). Injury mortality rates were consistently higher for Native children across all injury mechanism categories. The largest relative risks (Native vs. non-Native) were pedestrian injury (RR = 17.0), accidental poisoning (RR = 15.4), homicide by piercing objects (RR = 15.4), and suicide by hanging (RR = 13.5).
Conclusion: The burden of injury mortality is significantly greater in Native children compared with non-Native children. Therefore, injury prevention strategies that target both intentional and unintentional injuries are needed.