[Trends in mortality from scorpion stings in Mexico, 1979-2003]

Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2007 Jun;21(6):373-80. doi: 10.1590/s1020-49892007000500005.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To describe the trends in mortality from scorpion stings in Mexico as a whole and in each of its states for the period of 1979 to 2003.

Methods: We estimated the crude and standardized mortality rates due to scorpion stings and the trends during the period studied based on official mortality data for Mexico, using the codes (E905.2 and X22, respectively) from the 9th and 10th editions of the International Classification of Diseases. The results were stratified by age group. The frequencies of deaths from scorpion stings were compared using relative risk (RR), with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Between 1979 and 2003 in Mexico, 6,077 deaths from scorpion stings were registered. A statistically significant downward trend was found in standardized mortality rates (beta = -0.195; P < or = 0.001), with a total reduction of 86.5% for the period of 2001-2003 versus 1979-1982. For the 2001-2003 period, the highest mortality rates were in children under 1 year of age (7.07 per 1,000,000), children 1 to 4 years old (3.78 per 1,000,000), persons 60 and older (0.84 per 1,000,000), and males (0.81 per 1,000,000). Persons in communities with fewer than 2,500 inhabitants had a relative risk that was 11.8 times (95% CI: 7.86 to 17.72) that found in communities with more than 20,000 inhabitants. The states with the highest mortality rates were in the central and western regions of the country.

Conclusions: Despite the sustained decline in the number of deaths from scorpion stings in the last 20 years in Mexico, there is still an important public health problem. The groups that are most affected are children under 5 and the elderly. Measures should be taken so that in all communities, especially small ones, adequate resources and information are available to provide for the prompt care of persons who suffer a scorpion sting.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Scorpion Stings / mortality*
  • Scorpions*