Trends of Burn Injury in the United States: 1990 to 2016

Ann Surg. 2019 Dec;270(6):944-953. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003447.


Objective: The aim of this study is to report patterns of burn injury within the United States from 1990 to 2016 with regard to age, sex, geography, and year.

Summary background data: Advances in the management of burn injuries as well as successful public health efforts have contributed to reductions in the annual incidence and mortality of burns. However, several studies suggest that these reductions are not equally distributed throughout the US population.

Main outcomes and measures: The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 was utilized to collect incidence, mortality, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and years lived with disability (YLD) from 1990 to 2016. All measures were computed with 95% uncertainty intervals (UI).

Results: The overall incidence of burn injury in the United States has decreased from 215 (95% UI, 183-246) to 140 (95% UI, 117-161) per 100,000. However, the relative mortality of burn injury has been fixed over the 26-year study period. Alaska had the highest rates of burn incidence in 1990 and 2016, closely followed by southeastern states. When adjusted for incidence, relative mortality in 1990 was highest in Alabama and Mississippi and the mortality-incidence ratio increased for these states in 2016. In addition, 35 states also demonstrated an increase in the relative mortality of burn injury during the study period.

Conclusions: Regional trends of burn incidence and mortality are highly variable and are likely due to a multitude of factors. Addressing these disparities will require close examination of the contributing factors of burn injury and severity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult