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Motor vehicle and fall related deaths among older Americans 1990–98: sex, race, and ethnic disparities
  1. J A Stevens,
  2. A M Dellinger
  1. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Judy A Stevens, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Mailstop K-63, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA;
 jas2{at}cdc.gov

Abstract

Objectives: To examine differences in motor vehicle and fall related death rates among older adults by sex, race, and ethnicity.

Methods: Annual mortality tapes for 1990–98 provided demographic data including race and ethnicity, date, and cause of death. Trend analyses were conducted using Poisson regression.

Results: From 1990–98, overall motor vehicle related death rates remained stable while death rates from unintentional falls increased. Motor vehicle and fall related death rates were higher among men. Motor vehicle related death rates were higher among people of color while fall related death rates were higher among whites. Among whites, fall death rates increased significantly during the study period, with an annual relative increase of 3.6% for men and 3.2% for women.

Conclusions: The risk of death from motor vehicle and fall related injuries among older adults differed by sex, race and ethnicity, results obscured by simple age and sex specific death rates. This study found important patterns and disparities in these death rates by race and ethnicity useful for identifying high risk groups and guiding prevention strategies.

  • elderly
  • fall
  • motor vehicle
  • race
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