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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2005;38(2): 125-131.
Epidemiology and Control of Injury.
Soonduck Kim
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Korea. kimsd@korea.ac.kr
Injury has recently become a major world-wide health problem. Injury related deaths occur in many actively working young people and produce major social and economical losses. However health related specialists do not recognize the importance of injury and there have not been many studies related to this problem. This research studied the trends of injury related research in Korea, mortality rate and prevalence rate, socio-economical losses and control in Korea and out of the country, based on literature from Korea and without such as statistical yearly reports on causes of deaths and OECD health reports, as well as WHO web sites. Studies in Korea about injury were very few, with 9 in the 1960's, 5 in the 1980's, 4 in the 1990's and 5 in 2000's. Mortality rate of injury was higher in Korea than in England, USA or Japan, especially in car accidents, suicide and falls. In Korea, the yearly trends in mortality rates were highest in car accidents but those rates are falling, suicide is steadily rising, with highest rate in 2003. Falls is in second rank with no change in rates. In 2003, the ten causes of death in Korea were suicide in 5th rank, transport accidents in 7th rank, and falls in 10th rank. Considering age groups, in the teens, transport accidents were 1st rank, in the 20's and 30's, suicide was 1st rank, and although there were some differences, falls, drowning, assault, fire were in the top 10. Prevalence rates of injury could not be known, but in 2001, according to the National Health and Nutrition Survey, lifelong injury was 10%, and yearly major injury was 1.3%, major injury for two weeks was 0.1%, and minor injury was 10%. In other foreign countries, injury has become to be recognized as a major health related problem, and much programs are being set up to reduce injury related deaths and injuries. WHO is putting much effort in prevention of violence and transport accidents, and in the USA, Canada and Europe, there are injury surveillance systems. Recently, as suicide is increasing rapidly and providing much problems, each country are managing suicide prevention programs. In Korea, Ministry of Construction and Transportation is managing and guiding the policies for prevention of transport accidents. In September of 2004, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has set up a 5 year plan of suicide prevention.
Key words: Injury; Injury epidemiology; Injury prevention
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