Epidemiology of injuries and poisonings in emergency departments in Iran

Public Health. 2011 Oct;125(10):727-33. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2011.07.006. Epub 2011 Sep 8.


Objectives: There are few reports on epidemiological patterns of injury and injury-related mortality in developing countries. This study aimed to report the epidemiology of injuries and poisonings in emergency departments in Iran.

Study design: Retrospective study using available data from 20 March 2005 to 19 March 2008.

Methods: Recorded Injury Surveillance System (ISS) data including demographics, place of residence, type of injury, and outcome during emergency department stay were extracted from the databank of the national ISS and included in the final analysis.

Results: In total, 2,991,624 emergency department admissions due to injury were recorded at university hospitals during the study period. According to the national census in 2006, Iran had a population of 70,472,846, so the injury admission rate to university hospital emergency departments was 1.4%/year in Iran. The mean age of the patients was 26.5 [standard deviation (SD) 16.9] years, and 72.7% of the cases were male. The most common cause of injury was road traffic accidents (RTAs) (31.9%), followed by hit (25.5%) and falls (10.9%). Intoxication was associated with 5.3% of all injuries. The overall emergency department mortality rate was 0.6%. Of those who died, the mean age was 32.6 (SD 21.1) years. All fatal injuries, except burn injuries, were more common in males. Intoxication-related deaths occurred in 3.8% of cases. In patients aged <13, 13-65 and >65 years, hit (28.2%), RTAs (34%) and RTAs (27.9%) were, respectively, the most common causes of injury. In all age groups, RTAs were the most common cause of death.

Conclusions: This study determined the epidemiology of injuries and poisonings in emergency departments in Iran. The mortality rate in this study was low in comparison with other research, which may be explained in the context of inappropriate prehospital or interhospital care in Iran. This finding can be employed to formulate targeted preventive strategies based on the incidence of the more common types of injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Poisoning / mortality*
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*