Hispanic ethnicity and unintentional injury mortality in the elderly

David C. Landy, Michael J. Mintzer, Amanda K. Silva, Carl I. Schulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Unintentional injury is a leading cause of preventable mortality in elderly populations and is most often related to accidental falls and motor vehicle accidents. Hispanic ethnicity has been previously associated with decreased risk of accidental fall death as well as improved outcomes in other health states, the "Hispanic paradox." A timely analysis of national data with consideration for multiple injury types and age could provide insight into this epidemiologic phenomenon and help guide the use of prevention efforts. Materials and Methods: Search of the Center for Disease Control's WISQARS database was performed to identify the number of fatalities in the U.S. between 2003 and 2006 by age group, gender, Hispanic ethnicity, and injury type. Total U.S. population and group populations for the years examined were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey for each year. Mortality was calculated as fatalities over the total group population for the years examined. Results: Independent of gender and age group, elderly Hispanics were at decreased risk of death from accidental fall or as an occupant in a motor vehicle accident, but increased risk of pedestrian fatality compared with white-NH. Conclusions: The reduced fall and occupant mortality seen in elderly Hispanic populations may come at the cost of increased pedestrian-related mortality. This is consistent with and likely reflects differences in culture, socioeconomic status, and geographic distribution for the U.S. Hispanic population. Effective targeting of injury prevention programs, especially community based, should consider the role of Hispanic ethnicity and its impact on lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • accidental falls
  • epidemiology
  • geriatrics
  • Hispanic ethnicity
  • injury
  • motor vehicle accidents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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