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Prevalence and behavioural associations of unintentional injuries among Chinese college students: a 50-University population-based study
  1. Dan Wu1,
  2. Tingzhong Yang2,3,
  3. Randall R Cottrell4,
  4. Huan Zhou5,
  5. Xueying Feng6
  1. 1 Department of Psychology/Research Center for Quality of Life and Applied Psychology, Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan, China
  2. 2 Center for Tobacco Control Research and Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  3. 3 Injury Control Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
  4. 4 Public Health Studies Program, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
  5. 5 The Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
  6. 6 The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Tingzhong Yang, Center for Tobacco Control Research/Department of Social Medicine, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310058, China; tingzhongyang{at}


Objective To assess the prevalence, demographic characteristics and behavioural correlates of unintentional injuries among Chinese college students.

Methods A cross-sectional multistage survey sampling process was conducted among 11 770 undergraduates from 50 universities in China. Students were asked to report different types of unintentional injuries that required medical attention from a doctor over the past year. The χ² test and multiple logistic regression analysis were used to identify factors associated with these injuries.

Results The overall unintentional injury prevalence was 47.9% (95% CI 47.6% to 48.2%). Most injuries occurred at sport venues (24.0%), following by home/dormitory injuries (20.5%) and traffic injuries (13.0%). Some behavioural factors exhibiting significant associations with overall unintentional injuries were: sleeping less than 7 hours (OR=1.32, 95% CI 1.27 to 1.37), smoking (OR=1.28, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.32), alcohol consumption (OR=1.74, 95% CI 1.69 to 1.78) and heavy internet use (OR=1.60, 95% CI 1.52 to 1.67). Male students were more likely to be involved in traffic and sport injuries than female students. Students majoring in non-medical fields had a higher risk of sport and home injuries than students majoring in medical fields. Those who drank alcohol, slept less than 7 hours or who reported heavy internet use were more likely to experience all types of injuries than students who did not participate in these behaviours. Finally, students who smoked had a higher likelihood of traffic and sport injuries than non-smoking students.

Conclusions A substantial number of college students reported injuries in the past year, and several key behavioural factors were associated with injuries. These findings could be beneficial for the design, implementation and assessment of injury intervention programme with college students. Based on these findings, policy implications for unintentional injury prevention and control were also considered.

  • unintentional injury
  • behavioural factors
  • Chinese college students
  • traffic injury
  • sport injury
  • home injury

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  • Contributors TY conceived the study design, conceptualised the ideas and DW supervised the data management and analyses. HZ and XF conducted the data collection. DW and TY wrote primarily the manuscript, and RRC revised and edited the manuscript. All authors reviewed earlier drafts and approved the final version.

  • Funding This study was funded by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Project 71473221 & Major Project 71490733).

  • Disclaimer The funding sources had no involvement in the research presented in this paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Center at Zhejiang University.

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