Navigation Links
Major cities often the safest places in the US, Penn Medicine study finds

PHILADELPHIA - Overturning a commonly-held belief that cities are inherently more dangerous than suburban and rural communities, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found that risk of death from injuries is lowest on average in urban counties compared to suburban and rural counties across the U.S. The new study, which appears online ahead of print in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that for the entire population, as well as for most age subgroups, the top three causes of death were motor vehicle collisions, firearms, and poisoning. When all types of fatal injuries are considered together, risk of injury-related death was approximately 20 percent lower in urban areas than in the most rural areas of the country.

"Perceptions have long existed that cities were innately more dangerous than areas outside of cities, but our study shows this is not the case" said lead study author, Sage R. Myers, MD, MSCE, assistant professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine and attending physician, Department of Emergency Medicine at CHOP. "These findings may lead people who are considering leaving cities for non-urban areas due to safety concerns to re-examine their motivations for moving. And we hope the findings could also lead us to re-evaluate our rural health care system and more appropriately equip it to both prevent and treat the health threats that actually exist."

The study examined county-level data on all injury deaths across the U.S. from 1999-2006 (because of their unusual nature, deaths from the 9-11 terrorist attacks were excluded).

Findings from the study support prior work showing that overall homicide rates are lower in rural areas than urban areas. This was found to be true in all age groups, except the oldest adults (over 65 years old). Suicide rates, on the other hand, showed an increase with rurality, but the increased rate of suicide death in rural areas only reached statistical significance for the two youngest age groups: 0-14 years and 15-19 years.

However, the magnitude of homicide- and suicide-related deaths, even in urban areas, is far outweighed by the magnitude of unintentional-injury deaths such as those from car crashes and falls in nonurban areas, especially in rural areas. Specifically, the rate of unintentional-injury death is over 15 times that of homicide for the entire population and the risk of unintentional-injury death is 40 percent higher in the nation's most rural counties compared to the most urban.

The research team found that the bulk of unintentional injury deaths result from motor vehicle crashes, with motor vehicle injury-related deaths occurring at a rate that is more than 1.4 times higher than the next leading mechanism of injury death. In rural areas, this difference is even more pronounced, where motor vehicle injury-related death rates are twice that of the next leading injury mechanism. Across the rural-urban continuum, the risk of motor vehicle-related injury death is 2 times more likely in rural areas as compared to the most urban.

"We think our work serves as a reminder that injury is an important health issue for Americans, wherever they live. Our findings can inform both targeted prevention efforts and strategic efforts to improve trauma care in the U.S. This work provides a real opportunity to build systems of medical care that are positioned to best care for the populations that depend upon them for life and limb saving treatment in their time of need," said senior study author, Brendan G. Carr, MD, MSHP, assistant professor Emergency Medicine and Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Penn.

The researchers note that next steps in this line of research should focus on creating local injury priority scores a relatively simple and objective tool that uses data available in trauma center registries to rank injury causes according to both frequency and severity and considering innovative ways to continue to develop the U.S. emergency and trauma care system to assure that all Americans receive the best emergency and trauma care possible. "Trauma has been a leader in planning for care from the population perspective," says Carr, referencing the interactive trauma system mapping tool created at Penn, "but we've still got work to do."


Contact: Jessica Mikulski
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists identify major source of cells defense against oxidative stress
2. Majority of Californias Medi-Cal caregivers live in or near poverty
3. Study reveals major funding shortfall and high death rates for emergency laparotomy
4. Groundbreaking Nigeria summit results in major commitment to reduce child deaths
5. Majority of states fail to address youth exposure to alcohol marketing
6. Researchers determine vitamin D blood level for reducing major medical risks in older adults
7. Dengue Fever a Major Cost Burden in Puerto Rico
8. Living Near Major Roads May Shorten Heart Attack Survival
9. Bias found in mental health drug research presented at major psychiatric meeting
10. The Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates Alert Public of CDC Survey Revealing Majority of High School Seniors Admitting to Texting Behind Wheel
11. Infant Formula Can Be a Major Source of BPA: Experts
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Rodney E. Willey , has ... new venture, Koala Center for Sleep Disorders, provides treatment for snoring and sleep apnea ... have opened a Koala Center for Sleep Disorders in the US, one of four in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... American Specialty Health Fitness, ... have announced their endorsement of the Medical Fitness Network (MFN), a national health ... have the MFN as one of our endorsed organizations,” said ASH Fitness Vice ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Autism Speaks, ... the global movement driven by social media and the generosity of people around the ... encourage their social media networks to give – and share the personal stories behind ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... World ... Innovative Blending, a household invention that revolutionizes the vending machine industry by providing ... market is worth $2 billion," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Robert Yeager CEO of PharmMD, has announced the release ... have been multiple breakthroughs and challenges as healthcare reform moves out of its infancy ... and partners to stay ahead of the curve by breaking down barriers for every ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... and BERN, Switzerland , ... the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research of the ... the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition of ... the start of an exclusive collaboration to develop a ... algorithm for the personalised delivery of insulin for diabetic ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... F1000Workspace - a research collaboration, reference management ... just six months ago. --> F1000Workspace - ... - since it was launched just six months ago. ... F1000Workspace - a research collaboration, reference management and ... six months ago. --> --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Figure 1, a free mobile-first network ... cases, has launched a new completely redesigned web version ... allows radiologists, who work primarily on a desktop, to ... with its radiologist user base, Figure 1 is hosting ... North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: