Cross-national injury mortality differentials by income level: the possible role of age and ageing

Public Health. 2008 Nov;122(11):1167-76. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2008.02.012. Epub 2008 Jul 29.


Objectives: To examine age- and cause-specific injury mortality differentials between low-income (LICs), middle-income (MICs) and high-income countries (HICs), and to discuss their implications in explaining changing injury mortality patterns with economic development against the background of general health transition theory.

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: The World Health Organization's mortality database was used as the source of injury mortality data. The grouping into LICs, MICs and HICs was based on data from World Development Indicator.

Results: Unintentional injury mortality (UIM) rates in children and adults are highest in LICs and MICs, respectively. UIM rates in the elderly population, however, increase with higher economic conditions and are highest in HICs.

Conclusion: Based on these findings, it is hypothesized that ageing and injury interplay mutually with regard to health transition; declining rates in child UIM with economic development contributes to the ageing process, while increasing UIM among the elderly, in combination with ageing populations, boosts the absolute number of injury deaths in this segment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Cause of Death / trends
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Young Adult