Mental disorder as a risk factor for dog bites and post-bite cellulitis

Injury. 2012 Nov;43(11):1903-7. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2011.03.016. Epub 2011 May 6.


Objectives: Patients with mental disorders are at an increased risk for sustaining traumatic injury. No study has evaluated the association between mental disorders and the injury of dog bite. We conducted case-control studies to investigate whether people with mental disorders are at elevated risks of dog bite and post-bite cellulitis.

Methods: Using insurance data of 2000-2007, we compared 4660 patients with dog bites and 18,640 controls without the events for the association with mental disorders and other covariates. Amongst those with dog bites, a nested case-control study was performed to compare 286 patients with post-bite cellulites and rest of 4374 patients for factors associated with the infection.

Results: Young children, the older adults, and people with low socioeconomic status were at an elevated risk of sustaining the dog bite. In separate logistic regression models adjusting for socio-demographic variables, the results showed that patients with concomitant psychotic and non-psychotic mental disorders were associated with increased risks of dog bites (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=1.51, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.32-1.74) and of post-bite cellulitis (OR=2.13, 95% CI 1.46-3.10).

Conclusions: Individuals with mental disorders are likely at an elevated risk for serious dog bites and post-bite cellulitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic
  • Bites and Stings / complications
  • Bites and Stings / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cellulitis / epidemiology*
  • Cellulitis / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dogs*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Young Adult