Article Text

Dog bite injuries in the USA: prevalence, correlates and recent trends
  1. Katherine J Holzer,
  2. Michael G Vaughn,
  3. Vithya Murugan
  1. School of Social Work, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St Louis, Missouri, USA
  1. Correspondence to Katherine J Holzer, School of Social Work, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA; katie.holzer{at}


Dog bite-related injuries are associated with high medical costs. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence, correlates and recent trends in dog bite injuries among male and female individuals presenting to US emergency departments. The prevalence of dog bites was calculated for years 2010–2014 using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. Sex-stratified multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted with ‘dog bite’ as the dependent variable and patient and hospital characteristics as independent variables. Overall, the prevalence of dog bite injuries decreased from 2010 to 2014. The prevalence is highest in this sample among male youth. Male individuals diagnosed with an externalising behaviour disorder were more likely to present with a dog bite (OR=1.21, 95% CI 1.27 to 1.30). While the prevalence of dog bites has decreased in recent years, this costly and largely preventable injury remains a concern, especially among youth.

  • animal bites
  • cross sectional study
  • surveillance
  • gender
  • hospital care

Statistics from


  • Contributors There were no contributors who did not meet the criteria for authorship.

  • 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.

  • Ethics approval The NEDS is considered a 'limited dataset' under the HIPAA Privacy Rule and contains no direct patient identifiers; therefore, the current study did not require review from an institutional review board.

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

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