Background Epidemiological characteristics and recent trends in unintentional drowning at the national level in China are unreported.
Methods Using data from the Disease Surveillance Points system, the overall, sex-, location-, age- and cause-specific age-standardised mortality from unintentional drowning in China were calculated and compared. Linear regression was used to examine the significance of mortality trend changes over time.
Results The average mortality was 4.05 per 100 000 persons between 2006 and 2013. Men and rural residents had much higher drowning mortality rates than women and urban residents at all time points. Drowning following a fall into natural water was the most common mechanism (46% of all drowning deaths). The overall drowning mortality rate remained stable for all subgroups except for distinct decreases in urban residents, children aged 5–9 years, and other specified and unspecified drowning (−10%, −36% and −25%, respectively).
Conclusions The overall drowning mortality rate remained high and stable in China between 2006 and 2013. Effective prevention measures like removing or covering water hazards, wearing personal floatation devices, supervision of children, and teaching survival swimming and resuscitation skills should be implemented nationwide.
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LW and XC are joint first authors.
Contributors All authors contributed to the following: conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data; drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; final approval of the version published.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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