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A cohort study of regional migration and the risks of attempted suicide and violent assault injury
  1. N Yiannakoulias1,
  2. D Sanchez-Ramirez2,
  3. L W Svenson2,
  4. D C Voaklander2
  1. 1School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr D C Voaklander, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3; don.voaklander{at}ualberta.ca

Abstract

Objectives We study the association between changing residence and risks of attempted suicide and violent assault injury in Alberta, Canada. Our primary objective is to understand whether a change in residence between urban, rural and semiurban areas is associated with increased risk of intentional injury.

Methods Study subjects are a cohort of residents linked to data on emergency department and inpatient hospital admissions between 1999 and 2010. We used generalised estimating equations to model the effects of changing residence on risk of intentional injury while controlling for the influence of age, sex, socio-economic status, Aboriginal status and history of intentional injury.

Results Changing residence is associated with an increase in the risk of both attempted suicide and violent assault injury. In the case of attempted suicide, this effect is strongest for persons between 20 and 35 years of age. For violent assault injuries, persons from rural regions that have recently moved to urban regions have higher risk of injuries, and women of rural origin are at higher risk of violent assault injury than women of urban origin.

Conclusions Our findings reveal an association between risk of intentional injuries and change of residence adjusting for geographical differences in injury risk. These findings suggest that intentional injury risk is associated with change in community at intraregional scales and that these populations may benefit from support that helps integrate them into their new communities.

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