Background: Knowledge on long-term consequences of injury on health is vital when injury prevention policies and emergency care are planned. However, few studies have described lasting health consequences associated with injury. This study analyses the relationship between injury and self-assessed health up to 10 years after the injury.
Methods: The study makes use of a public health research database linking health interview survey information with data from national health registries. Using this database, the health of a group of Danish patients with injury events during 1995 to 2005 was compared with a noninjured group up to 10 years after the injury. The association between self-assessed general health and self-reported depression and injury-related factors were estimated using logistic regression analysis.
Results: When patients with injuries compared with noninjured, the odds ratios of poor self-assessed general health and self-reported depression were 1.83 (confidence level, 1.53-2.19) and 1.33 (confidence level, 1.14-1.54), respectively. Although decreasing with time, the effect of injury on general health was significant up to 10 years after the injury. The injury type was significantly related to health, and in particular, patients with back, head, and neck injuries reporting poor general health. No gender differences were found in the effect of injury on self-assessed health.
Conclusions: Injuries have lasting consequences for physical and mental health up to 10 years after the injury event, in particular, for people sustaining head, neck, and back injuries. Sustaining an injury has the same effect on general health in men and women.