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Are there differences in injury mortality among refugees and immigrants compared with native-born?
  1. Marie Norredam1,
  2. Maja Olsbjerg2,3,
  3. Jorgen H Petersen2,3,
  4. Bjarne Laursen3,
  5. Allan Krasnik1
  1. 1Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health, Section of Health Services Research, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen
  2. 2Department of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3The National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marie Norredam, Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Building 10, 1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark; mano{at}


Background The authors studied injury mortality in Denmark among refugees and immigrants compared with that among native Danes.

Method A register-based, historical prospective cohort design. All refugees (n=29 139) and family reunited immigrants (n=27 134) who between 1 January 1993 and 31 December 1999 received residence permission were included and matched 1:4 on age and sex with native Danes. Civil registration numbers were cross-linked to the Register of Causes of Death, and fatalities due to unintentional and intentional injuries were identified based on ICD-10 diagnosis. Sex-specific mortality ratios were estimated by migrant status and region of birth, adjusting for age and income and using a Cox regression model after a median follow-up of 11–12 years.

Results Compared with native Danes, both female (RR=0.44; 95% CI 0.23 to 0.83) and male (RR=0.40; 95% CI 0.29 to 0.56) refugees as well as female (RR=0.40; 95% CI 0.21 to 0.76) and male (RR=0.22; 95% CI 0.12 to 0.42) immigrants had significantly lower mortality from unintentional injuries. Suicide rates were significantly lower for male refugees (RR=0.38; 95% CI 0.24 to 0.61) and male immigrants (RR=0.24; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.59), whereas their female counterparts showed no significant differences. Only immigrant women had a significantly higher homicide rate (RR=3.09; 95% CI 1.11 to 8.60) compared with native Danes.

Conclusions Overall results were advantageous to migrant groups. Research efforts should concentrate on investigating protective factors among migrants, which may benefit injury prevention in the majority population.

  • Injury
  • mortality
  • migration
  • ethnicity
  • immigrants
  • mental health
  • epidemiology
  • registry
  • suicide/self
  • harm
  • drowning
  • bicycle
  • fall

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  • Funding This work was supported by TrygFonden (no specific grant number).

  • Competing interests None.

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

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