Background: The significant growth in the elderly population expected in the coming years demands a thorough and up-to-date understanding of the incidence of injuries in this group for purposes of prevention polices and their evaluation. The aim of this study was to describe the incidence of injuries in hospital inpatients over 64 years of age in Spain, stratified by sex, age group, and the severity and mechanism of injury, and to analyse trends in incidence during the period 2000–2010.
Methods: Descriptive trends study using data from the National Hospital Discharge Register. The dependent variable was the number of hospital discharges with injury. Stratified incidence rates were calculated per 100 000 inhabitants. Trends, in terms of annual per cent change, were assessed using Poisson regression with discharge year as the independent variable.
Results: Rates of injury were higher among women than men, increased with age in both sexes, with individuals aged ≥85 years having a fivefold greater risk than those aged 65–69 years. During the period 2000–2010, incidence increased annually by 1.1% in men and 0.9% in women aged 75–79 years, 2.3% and 1.6% in 80–84-year-olds and 3.3% and 2.4% in ≥85-year-olds, respectively. The incidence of all levels of injury severity and all mechanisms of injury increased during the study period, except for traffic injuries, which decreased.
Conclusions Incidence of injury in the elderly is rising, particularly in older individuals, indicating that the increase in the number of hospitalisations is not a consequence of population aging only.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health