Academic journal article Central European Journal of Public Health

Prevalence of Unintentional Injuries and Related Risk Factors among University Students in Canakkale City, Western Turkey

Academic journal article Central European Journal of Public Health

Prevalence of Unintentional Injuries and Related Risk Factors among University Students in Canakkale City, Western Turkey

Article excerpt


Objective: We examined the prevalence of unintentional injuries and associated risk factors among university students in Canakkale city, Turkey.

Methods: Across-sectional study was conducted in 2007-2008. A total of 4,762 students completed the questionnaire. Risk factors associated with the rate of accidents were assessed by chi-square analysis and effects of these factors on unintentional injuries were described by logistic regression analysis.

Results: The rate of unintentional injuries among university students was 14.9% during the previous 12 months. The most reported injuries occurred on the road (43.8%), at home (33.2%) and outside the home (26.9%) such as workplaces, schools or sports venues. The prevalence of unintentional injuries was significantly higher in males than females (18.1% vs. 12.0% p< 0.05). Results of the logistic regression analysis indicated that male gender (OR 1.51), studying in college and vocational school (OR 1.34), perception of very bad (OR 0.49) or good economic status (OR 0.49), drinking alcohol (OR 1.52), using illicit substances (OR 1.70), having a diagnosed illness (OR 1.36), or having risk of developing depression (OR 1.54) had significant effects on the risk of unintentional injuries (p<0.05).

Conclusions: This study indicated that male gender, studying in college and vocational schools, illicit substance use, poor economic conditions, having a diagnosed illness and risk of developing depression can be risk factors for unintentional injuries among university students. Public health training programmes giving priority to high-risk groups such as university and high school students may be a valuable tool in reducing unintentional injuries among young people.

Key words: unintentional injuries, risk factors, university students


In the world, 9% of all deaths occur due to trauma, and the majority of these deaths cause social and economic losses in countries with low and moderate income levels (1-4). According to WHO, in 1990 injuries due to traffic accidents were ninth among the first 10 causes of global disease burden. In 2020, they are expected to be located in third place after ischaemic cardiac disease and unipolar major depression. Unless new and effective programmes are developed, these figures are expected to increase by 65% in the following 20 years. In order to define factors which increase or decrease injury risk, epidemiological studies, which are based primarily on public health approaches specific for each region, are required (5).

Worldwide, 8 of the 15 leading causes of death for people aged 15 to 29 years are injury related, including traffic injuries, homicide, suicide, etc. (6). Also nearly 1.3 million people die, and 20-50 million are injured or disabled each year. Road crashes are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years. In the USA, over 37,000 people die, and 2.35 million are injured or disabled in road crashes each year. Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers aged 16-20 years. Crash death rates among 15-24 years of age have been reported as 10.9 deaths per 100,000 people (7).

According to the Turkish National Disease Burden Study, numbers of deaths due to undesired injury and crashes at the ages 15-29 were 6,332 and 6,485 in the year 2000 and 2010, respectively. The numbers are expected to be 6,434 and 6,242 in 2020 and 2030, respectively. For the same age group, the ratio of undesired injuries was 16.7% of total disease burden (disability life adjusted years - DALY); the ratio is 11.9% in men and 5.2% in women. Traffic accidents are fifth (3.3%) formen, but 14th for women (1.5%) among causes of disease burden. It was reported in the study that being unprepared for accidents and deficiency of psychosocial support are the most important causes of disease burden (8). Moreover, WHO has reported that studies which investigate accident rate and accident types will provide beneficial data to prepare guidelines for safety policies, and effective intervention methods (5). …

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