Burn injury in Utah: demographic and geographic risks

J Burn Care Res. May-Jun 2010;31(3):375-84. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e3181db51b0.


Burns are preventable injuries, and prevention campaigns have been conducted with varying success. To develop successful prevention programs, it is imperative that burn risk be identified and factors associated with increased risk elucidated. The aims of this study were to determine the risk of burn injury to Utah residents, identify demographic and geographic subgroups at increased risk, and to examine sociodemographic factors associated with risk. Probabilistic record linkage of databases from five states was performed to identify Utah residents burned over a 5-year period and to calculate the burn rates and risk. Geographic Information Systems mapping allowed for the identification and characterization of high risk areas. Men had a higher rate of injury than women. Children under the age of 5 years had the highest rate of burn injury. Adults aged > 65 years had the lowest rate. Seven Utah counties were identified as high-risk counties. The counties were predominantly rural and tended to have higher rates of American-Indian populations, increased poverty levels, lower percentages of individuals with high school degrees, and lower employment rates. The characteristics of these high-risk counties do not imply causality, and further research is warranted to determine whether these factors contribute to burn risk. The results of this study provide the foundation for future research and prevention programs targeted toward populations and geographic areas with the greatest risk of burn injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Burn Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Utah / epidemiology
  • Young Adult