Problem and Objective Studies focusing on the socioeconomic distribution of fall injuries among children are few and show mixed results. Previous studies are mainly area-based and no studies have investigated the relationship between family socioeconomic position and subgroups of fall injuries. The current study examines whether socioeconomic position affect the risk of having fall related injuries of different types.
Method This population-based cohort study links Swedish national register data for a cohort of 1 544 047 individuals born between 1977 and 1991. Individual records from the 1985 census were linked to the National Hospital Discharge Register for the period 1998–2004. Fall injuries requiring hospitalisation were recorded (n=38 529). Logistic regressions were used to measure the effect (odd ratios) of socio-economic position on eight subgroups of fall injuries (based on external codes, ICD-10).
Results An analysis of all types of fall aggregated (W00-W19) showed no significant differences between young people from different socioeconomic groups. However, analyses of subgroups of falls showed that children of manual workers had significant higher odds of having injuries related to falls from playground equipment (OR 1.35 (1.21 to 1.50), stairs (OR 1.48, CI 1.30 to 1.69), trees (1.36 (1.17 to 1.58) and falls from buildings (OR 1.38 CI 1.18 to 1.60). On the other hand, children in lower socioeconomic groups had significantly lower odds for sport related falls compared to children of parents who are intermediate- and high level salaried employees.
Conclusion This study indicates that when falls are split into subgroups the effect of low socioeconomic position can be both protective and aggravating.
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