Skip to main content Accessibility help

Beyond Mortality and Hospitalization Data: Self-Reported Injuries Among Canadian Seniors*

  • Parminder Raina (a1) (a2), Micheline Wong (a3), Steven Dukeshire (a2), Andria Scanlan (a3), Larry Chambers (a1) (a2) and Joan Lindsay (a4)...


This study describes the prevalence and characteristics of self-reported unintentional injuries among Canadians aged 55 years and older. Based on the cross-sectional data from the 1994 National Population Health Survey (NPHS), approximately 10 per cent of older adults experienced unintentional injuries serious enough to limit their normal daily activities. Consistent with hospitalization and mortality data, unintentional falls and motor vehicle crashes were reported as the major causes of injury. However, the other predominant causes of unintentional injuries were environmental incidents and being struck by an object. The most common types of injuries were sprains/strains and broken/fractured bones; the greatest number of injuries was to the lower limbs; and the majority of injuries occurred in the home and surrounding area. Unintentional injuries represent a significant health threat among older adults. Self-reported data serve as a different but complementary source of information on unintentional injuries among older adults.

Cette étude décrit la fréquence et les caractéristiques des blessures involontaires déclarées par les canadiens de 55 ans et plus. D'après les données transversales de l'Enquête nationale sur la santé de la population, environ 10 pour 100 des aînés subissent des blessures involontaires suffisant à les empêcher d'exercer leurs activités normales. Les données d'hospitalisation et de mortalité révèlent que les chutes involontaires et les accidents de véhicules motorisés constituent la principale cause de blessure. Cependant, on signale les incidents dus à l'environnement et les heurts comme autre cause importante de blessure involontaire. Les blessures les plus communes sont les entorses et les fractures des os. Le plus grand nombre de blessures se situe aux membres inférieurs et la plupart des blessures se produisent dans la maison ou autour. Les blessures involontaires représentent une menace sérieuse pour la santé des aînés. Les données communiquées par les intéressés sont une source d'information différente mais complémentaire sur les blessures involontaires chez les aînés.



Hide All
1.Riley, P, Paddon, PAccidents in Canada: Mortality and hospitalization. Health Reports, Statistics Canada 1989; 1(1):2350.
2.Raina, P, Torrance, V, Lindsay, JA review of the literature and an analysis of mortality and hospitalization data to examine patterns of injuries among Canadian seniors. IESOP Research Paper no. 12, January 1997. Program for Research on the Independence and Economic Security of the Older Population, McMaster University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
3.Health Canada. Health Protection Branch, Bureau of Reproductive and Child Health. Canadian Injury Data. Ottawa: Health Canada, 1998 (in press).
4.Moore, R, Mao, Y, Zhang, J, Clark, KEconomic burden of illness in Canada, 1993. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1997.
5.Wilkins, KDeaths due to accidents, poisoning and violence among Canada's elderly: Trends from 1926 to 1985. Chronic Dis Can 1989; 10(1):89.
6.Statistics Canada. Canada Year Book 1988. Ottawa: Bryant Press Ltd., 1987.
7.Lilley, JM, Arie, T, Chilvers, CEAccidents involving older people: A review of the literature. Age Aging 1995; 24:346–65.
8.Wigle, DT, Mao, Y, Wong, T, Lane, REconomic burden of illness in Canada. Chronic Dis Can 1991, 12 (suppl.3):l37.
9.Baker, SP, O'Neill, B, Ginsburg, MJ, Li, GThe Injury Fact Book. Second ed.New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
10.Riley, RAccidental falls and injuries among seniors. Health Reports, Statistics Canada 1992; 4(4):341–54.
11.Sattin, RWFalls among older person: A public health perspective. Ann Rev Public Health 1992; 13:489508.
12.Kapoor, WNEvaluation of syncope in the elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc 1987; 34 (suppl.4):l24.
13.Macdonald, ET, Macdonald, JBDrug treatment in the elderly. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1982.
14.Ray, WA, Griffin, MR, Downey, W, Melton, LJLong-term use of thiazide diuretics and risk of hip fractures. Lancet 1989; 1:687–90.
15.Lucht, UA prospective study of accidental falls and resulting injuries in home among elderly people. Acta Socio-Med Scand 1971; 2:105–20.
16.Schelp, L, Svanstorm, LOne-year incidence of home accidents in a rural Swedish municipality. Scand J Soc Med 1986; 14:7582.
17.Rubenstein, LZ, Robins, AS, Schulman, BL, Rosado, J, Osterwiel, D, Josephson, KRFalls and instability in the elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc 1988; 36:236–79.
18.Baranick, JI, Chatterjee, BF, Greene-Cradden, YC, Michenzi, EM, Kramer, CF, et al. Motor vehicle trauma in Northeastern Ohio. I: Incidence and outcome by age, sex, and road-use category. Am J Epidemiol 1986; 123:846–61.
19.Copper, PJ, Tallman, D, Tuokko, H, Lynn, BVehicle crash involvement and cognitive deficit in older drivers. J Safety Res 1993; 25:917.
20.Dubinski, RM, Williamson, A, Gray, SC and Glatt, SLDriving in Alzheimer's disease. J Am Geriatr Soc 1992; 40:1112–6.
21.McCloskey, LW, Keopsill, TD, Wolf, ME and Buchner, DMMotor vehicle collisions and sensory impairments of older drivers. Age Ageing 1994; 9:973.
22.Honkanen, R, Ertama, L, Linnoila, M, et al. Role of drugs in traffic accidents. Br Med J 1980; 281:1309–12.
23.MacPherson, RD, Perl, J, Starmer, GA, Homel, RSelf-reported drug usage and crash incidence in breath analyzed drivers. Accident Anal Prev 1984; 16:139–48.
24.Snelling, CFT, Germann, ETTrends in hospital care of burns in Canada. J Trauma 1992; 33(2):258–65.
25.Hummings, SR, Nevitt, MC, Kidd, SForgetting falls: the limited accuracy of recall of falls in the elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc 1988; 36:613–6.
26.Statistics Canada. National Population Health Survey. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1994.
27.Statistics Canada. Health Statistics Division. National Population Health Survey 1994–1995. Public Use Microdata Files. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1995.
28.Statistics Canada. National Population Health Survey, Derived Variables. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1994.
29.Statistics Canada. National Population Health Survey, Record Layout. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1994.
30.Nevitt, MC, Cummings, SR, Hudes, ESRisk factors for injurious falls: A prospective study. J Gerontol 1991; 46(5):M16470.
31.Baker, S, Harvey, AFalls and injuries in the elderly. Clin Geriatr Med 1985; 1:501–5.
32.Chen, HStepping over obstacles: Gait patterns of healthy young and old adults. J Gerontol: Medical Sciences 1991; 46(6):196203.
33.Campbell, AJ, Reinken, J, Allan, BC, Martinez, GSFall in old age: A study of frequency and related clinical factors. Age Ageing 1981; 10:264–70.
34.Felson, DT, Anderson, JJ, Hannan, MT, Milton, PWF, Wilson, PW, Kiel, DPImpaired vision and hip fracture: The Framingham Study. J Am Geriatr Soc 1989; 37:495500.
35.Myers, JS, Sharpe, AC Injuries in the elderly: risks and prevention. In: Eliopoulous, C. (Ed.) Caring for the elderly in diverse care settings. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott, 1990.
36.Perry, BFalls among the elderly living in high-rise apartments. J Fam Pract 1982; 14(6):1069–73.
37.King, MB, Tinetti, MFalls in community-dwelling older persons. American Journal of Geriatric Society 1995; 43:1146–54.
38.Herndon, JG, Heimick, CG, Sattin, RW, Stevens, JA, De Vito, C, Wingo, PAChronic medical conditions and risk of fall injury events in older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 1997; 45(6):739–43.
39.Gallagher, EMFalls and the elderly. Community Paper Series #3. Victoria, BC: University of Victoria, 1995.
40.Commodore, DIFalls in elderly populations: a look at incidence, risks, health care costs, and preventive strategies. Rehabil Nurs 1995; 20(2):84–9.
41.Craven, R, Bruno, PTeach the elderly to prevent falls. J Gerontol Nurs 1986; 12(8):2733.
42.Hornbrook, M, Steven, V, Wingfield, D, Hollis, J, Greenlick, M, Ory, MPreventing falls among community-dwelling older persons: Results from a randomized trial. Gerontologist 1994; 34(1):623.
43.Reinsch, S, MacRae, P, Lachenbruch, P, Tobis, JWhat do healthy older adults fall? Behavioural and environmental risks. Phys Occup Ther Geriatr 1992; 11(1):114.
44.Northridge, ME, Nevitt, MC, Kelsey, JL, Link, BHome hazards and falls in the elderly: The role of health and functional status. Am J Public Health 1995; 85(4):509–15.
45.Raina, P, Dukeshire, S, Chambers, L, Toivonen, D, Lindsay, JPrevalence, risk factors and health care utilization for injuries among Canadian seniors: An analysis of 1994 National Population Health Survey. IESOP Research Paper no. 15, June 1997. Program for Research on the Independence and Economic Security of the Older Population, McMaster University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-on-aging-la-revue-canadienne-du-vieillissement
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed