Unintentional Injury Burden in Hong Kong: Results from a Representative Population-Based Survey

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug 21;18(16):8826. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18168826.


Unintentional injuries are major causes of mortality and morbidity. Although generally perceived as accidents, it is possible to identify those at higher risk and implement appropriate prevention measures. This study aims to investigate the common causes of unintentional injuries and their associated risk factors among a large representative sample. Data of 12,022 individuals who completed the Hong Kong Population Health Survey 2014/15 were extracted. The primary outcome was the prevalence of having unintentional injury(-ies) in the previous 12 months that was severe enough to limit daily activities. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify associations between injuries and sociodemographic, clinical and lifestyle factors. 14.5% of respondents reported episode(s) of unintentional injury in the past 12 months in the population level. The main causes of top three most severe unintentional injuries were sprains (24.0%), falls (19.9%) and being hit/struck (19.6%). 13.2% injury episodes were work-related among the most severe episode. Factors independently associated with significantly higher risks of injury included currently employed, homemaker or student, born in Hong Kong (as compared with immigrants), doctor-diagnosed chronic conditions, harmful alcohol consumption, insufficient sleep, and disturbed sleep. To summarize, unintentional injuries are highly prevalent and associated with harmful drinking, insufficient sleep, and disturbed sleep, which are potential modifiable risk factors for prevention.

Keywords: general population; public health; safety; unintentional injury.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Accidental Injuries*
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Students
  • Wounds and Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries* / etiology