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Costs of traffic injuries
  1. Marie Kruse
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marie Kruse, KORA, Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research and University of Southern Denmark, Købmagergade 22, Copenhagen DK-1150, Denmark; makr{at}kora.dk

Abstract

Objective The aim of this study was to analyse the socioeconomic costs of traffic injuries in Denmark, notably the healthcare costs and the productivity costs related to traffic injuries, in a bottom-up, register-based perspective.

Method Traffic injury victims were identified using national emergency room data and police records. Victims were matched with five controls per case by means of propensity score, nearest-neighbour matching. In the cohort, consisting of the 52 526 individuals that experienced a traffic injury in 2000 and 262 630 matched controls, attributable healthcare costs were assessed using Danish national healthcare registers. Productivity costs were computed using duration analysis (Cox regression models). In a subanalysis, cost per severe traffic injury was computed for the 12 995 individuals that experienced a severe injury.

Results The socioeconomic cost of a traffic injury was €1406 (2009 price level) in the first year, and €8950 over a 10-year period. Per 100 000 population, the 10-year cost was €6 565 668. A severe traffic injury costs €4969 per person in the first year, and €4 006 685 per 100 000 population over a 10-year period. Victims of traffic injuries are younger and generally worse off, compared to the general population.

Conclusions Prevention of traffic injuries could result in societal savings. The bottom-up, register-based approach renders more precise figures for these savings. The socioeconomic profile of injury victims differs from that of the general population on most parameters.

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