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Facial injuries in Scotland 2001–2009: epidemiological and sociodemographic determinants

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  • Ra Public Aspects Of Medicine
  • Economics
  • Education


To our knowledge, sociodemographic determinants of facial injuries in children have not previously been reported in Scotland. We analysed the pattern, time trends, and key sociodemographic determinants of facial injuries in children and adolescents using Scottish morbidity records for inpatient care (2001–2009) which were retrieved from the Information Services Division of National Health Services (NHS) Scotland. We calculated annual incidences by age, sex, health board, Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), and mechanism of injury. A Poisson regression analysis model was used to incorporate the variables. A total of 45 388 patients aged from birth to 17 years sustained a facial injury (4.7/1000 population over nine years); 60% (27 101) of injuries were unintentional, 15% (6726) resulted from motor vehicle accidents, and 9% (4149) resulted from alleged assaults; 5% (2058) were alcohol related. The incidence decreased over time from 5.5/1000 in 2001 to 4.0/1000 in 2009. The rate ratio for boys was 1.94 times greater than for girls (p < 0.001), and it varied significantly between health board areas (0.68 in Dumfries and Galloway and 1.76 in Grampian) (p < 0.001). There was a significant association between facial injury and increasing deprivation (p < 0.001). The incidence of facial injury is highest among boys living in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation so education and resources should be directed towards prevention in these areas.

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