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Prevalence and behavioural associations of unintentional injuries among Chinese college students: a 50-University population-based study


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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