Background According to the World Health Organisation, globally falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths with low- and middle-income countries accounting for about 80% of these deaths. Previous studies from Bangladesh have reported a high burden of fall injuries especially among children. The overall goal of this study is to describe the burden of fall injuries in rural Bangladesh and to identify risk factors.
Methods In 2013, a large household survey covering 1,169,593 population was conducted in seven rural sub-districts of Bangladesh to assess burden of all injuries including falls. The recall periods for non-fatal and fatal injuries were 6 and 12 months respectively. Descriptive, bivariate and multiple logistic regressions analysis were conducted.
Results During the recall period, the rates of non-fatal and fatal falls were 36.3 per 1000 and 5 per 100,000 population respectively. After adjusting for covariates, compared to <18 years old, >64 years old had 180 times higher odds (p < 0.05) of experiencing fatal falls. Risk of non-fatal falls was higher at extremes of age. Compared to <1 year old, the adjusted odds of experiencing non-fatal falls were 3.4 (p < 0.001) and 2.6 (p < 0.001) times higher for >64 years olds and 1–4 years old respectively. Lower limb and waist injuries were frequent following fall. Among <1 year olds 35% had head injury while among >64 years old about 39% had lower limb and waist injuries. Injuries to all other body parts except waist were frequent among men. Most (57%) non-fatal falls occurred in internal or external home environment especially at extremes of age. About 70% of non-fatal and 59% of fatal falls were at same level with about 62% occurring on sidewalk/street. Nearly 50% of fatal and 27% of non-fatal different level falls were from a tree.
Conclusions Elderly and children are more vulnerable for falls in Bangladesh. The injury patterns and risk factors of falls differ by demographic factors.
- risk factors