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166 Epidemiology of burns in rural Bangladesh: an update
  1. Siran He1,
  2. Olakunle Alonge1,
  3. Priyanka Agrawal1,
  4. Shumona Sharmin2,
  5. Irteja Islam2,
  6. Saidur Rahman Mashreky3,
  7. Shams El Arifeen2
  1. 1Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA
  2. 2Centers for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh
  3. 3International Centres for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh


Background Burns account for approximately 265,000 deaths each year with predominance in low and middle-income countries. Since most existing estimates of burn mortality and morbidity in Bangladesh have been derived from hospital records or small-scale surveys, the aim of this study was to get prevalence measures for burns and risk factors at a population level in rural Bangladesh.

Methods Census household data collected from seven rural sub-districts in Bangladesh was used to assess injury outcomes, including burns, in 2013–2014. Descriptive statistics, and univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine the epidemiological characteristics and risk factors for burn injuries.

Results The overall burn mortality and morbidity rates were 2.14 deaths and 528 burn injuries per 100,000 populations. Females had a 63% (95% confidence intervals, CI: 15%–75%) higher chance of burn injuries than men across all age groups, with majority of injuries occurring inside the home. Approximately 50% of burn injuries occurred in the 25–64 year old age group. Deaths occurred mainly by flame burns (88%) where as non-fatal injuries were largely due to contact with hot liquids (56.53%), like cooking oil (21.4%). Deaths were also observed mostly in the winter season. Furthermore, children 1–4 years of age were 4.36 (95% CI: 3.37–5.63) times likelier to suffer from burn injuries than infants keeping all other factors constant. Higher level of education was seen to be associated with lower risk of burn injuries.

Conclusions Burns in rural Bangladesh are mainly seen across two extremes of ages in men and women, the propensity being higher in females. Crammed housing spaces, young age and poor educational background were found to be risk factors for burn injuries.

  • Burns
  • Bangladesh
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk Factors

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