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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