UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Area-based socioeconomic disparities in mortality due to unintentional injury and youth suicide in British Columbia, 2009–2013 Zandy, Moe; Zhang, Li Rita; Kao, Diana; Rajabali, Fahra; Turcotte, Kate; Zheng, Alex; Oakey, Megan; Smolina, Kate; Pike, Ian; Rasali, Drona


Introduction: The association between health outcomes and socioeconomic status (SES) has been widely documented, and mortality due to unintentional injuries continues to rank among the leading causes of death among British Columbians. This paper quantified the SES-related disparities in the mortality burden of three British Columbia’s provincial injury prevention priority areas: falls among seniors, transport injury, and youth suicide. Methods: Mortality data (2009 to 2013) from Vital Statistics and dissemination area or local health area level socioeconomic data from CensusPlus 2011 were linked to examine five-year age-standardized mortality rates (ASMRs) and disparities in ASMRs of unintentional injuries and subtypes including falls among seniors (aged 65+) and transport-related injuries as well as the intentional injury type of youth suicide (aged 15 to 24). Disparities by sex and geography were examined, and relative and absolute disparities were calculated between the least and most privileged areas based on income, education, employment, material deprivation, and social deprivation quintiles. Results: Our study highlighted significant sex differences in the mortality burden of falls among seniors, transport injury, and youth suicide with males experiencing significantly higher mortality rates. Notable geographic variations in overall unintentional injury ASMR were also observed across the province. In general, people living in areas with lower income and higher levels of material deprivation had increasingly higher mortality rates compared to their counterparts living in more privileged areas. Conclusion: The significant differences in unintentional and intentional injury-related mortality outcomes between the sexes and by SES present opportunities for targeted prevention strategies that address the disparities.

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