【ASPPH Friday Letter】
Author: DUAN-RUNG CHEN
Director, Institute of Health Policy & Management, College of Public Health, NTU
Taiwan: Socioeconomic Status and Deaths Due to Unintentional Injury Among Children: A Socio-spatial Analysis in Taiwan
Unintentional injury is a major cause of death in children. The World Health Organization (WHO) accounts more than 3 million deaths due to unintentional injury in 2015 with nearly 20 percent of them in children under the age of 15. Children living in deprived socio-economic area have been shown to have high mortality due to unintentional injury. Dr. Duan-Rung Chen, professor, and the director of the Institute of Health Behaviors and Community Sciences, and his student Dr. An-Kuo Chou demonstrated the strong association between multiple socio-economic disadvantages and unintentional death among children while controlling for spatial autocorrelation. This study had been published in the Geospatial Health.
Geospatial inequalities in health are strongly attributable to variation in the underlying social and environmental condition in populations. Drs. Chen and Chou found the unintentional injury mortality rate among children had spatial clustering at the level of townships. Death due to traffic accidents, drowning, and suffocation had shown significant spatial clustering. The mortality rates due to unintentional injury among children appeared to be significantly modified by sociodemographic factors, including regional poverty, family burden, family fragility and regional unemployment. Dr. Chou, the first author of this study, emphasized that injury remains the leading cause of death among Taiwan children and the rate is higher than in most developed countries including Japan and Korea. Socioeconomic disadvantages need to be addressed to reduce the number of deaths due to childhood unintentional injury.
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