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The Authors' response
  1. Rebecca J Mitchell1,2,
  2. Ann M Williamson1,
  3. Jake Olivier2,3
  1. 1School of Aviation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  2. 2NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  3. 3School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rebecca J Mitchell, Department of Aviation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia; r.mitchell{at}

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We were very pleased to have interest in our paper in this journal1 on the unrecognised importance of drowning as a cause of premature death and suffering. Mr Morgan raises some specific questions about the methodology we chose in our paper.2

The objective of our paper was to demonstrate that calculating the rate of drowning using the total population as a denominator underestimates the risk of drowning, as it assumes equal exposure to water for the whole population. Five estimates of incidence rates of drowning morbidity and mortality were provided in the paper, four of which were adjusted for different levels of self-reported risk. One rate was estimated using the total population as the denominator; three used various levels of reported exposure for the denominator (ie, population risk) and one used a person-time risk measure for reported hours spent swimming. Mr Morgan's questions only related to the drowning death rate calculations for the person-time risk measure related to swimming, and these are …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.