Background With an average age of 58 years, Australian farmers represent an ageing population. An understanding of the causes of farm injuries in older people is crucial to preventing injuries and deaths.
Aims To describe the major causes of hospital-admitted farming injuries among those aged 60+ years.
Methods Hospital admissions data from Victoria were examined for the period July 2016 to June 2021. Variables analysed included age, sex, activity at time of injury, external cause of injury, type of injury and length of hospital stay.
Results There were 1,388 hospital admissions for farming injuries among those aged 60+ years in the five-year period. There was a 65% increase in admissions among females over time, compared to a 24% increase in males. While males were more likely to be injured by machinery (27% males vs 14% females), females were more likely to be admitted due to falls (37% females vs 19% males). Animals were a common cause of injury for both sexes.
Conclusion An increase in farm injury admissions was demonstrated among older people in the past five years, particularly among females. The highlighted sex differences provide evidence for targeted preventions aimed at reducing injuries due to falls, contact with machinery and contact with animals.
Learning outcomes Older people should be a focus of injury prevention efforts on farms, with particular focus on sex differences in causes of injuries.
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