Ulykker i Danmark 1990-2009 - Statens Institut for Folkesundhed


Ulykker i Danmark 1990-2009 - Statens Institut for Folkesundhed


English summary

Unintentional injuries or accidents are unexpected sudden events, which for the individuals

involved can change their lives from one moment to another. Most of us experience several

injuries in the course of our lives, most of which are minor such as abrasions, bruises etc.

These less severe injuries, however, may affect us mentally as much as the more serious

injuries. At the national level, unintentional injuries are among the three most important

disease groups together with cardiovascular diseases and cancer, measured in terms of

potential life years lost (up to 65 years). Further, about 7% of Danish adults report longterm

consequences of injuries after an accident. Based on this, it can be argued that the

prevention of accidents should be given as much priority as the prevention of cancer and

cardiovascular disease.

Figure 3.1.1 The injury pyramid. Mortality, hospital admissions and emergency

department contacts in Denmark 2009

Sources: Mortality: The Danish Cause of Death Register, National Board of Health. Hospital admissions:

The National Patient Register, National Board of Health. Emergency department contacts:

The Danish Injury Register, National Institute of Public Health, Denmark, University of Southern


In Denmark, 600,000-700,000 people were treated annually in emergency departments

because of an unintentional injury during the period 1990-2009. Ten percent of these were

caused by road traffic accidents, 13% were caused by occupational accidents and the remaining,

77%, were caused by accidents at home or were due to leisure activities. The number

of injuries that lead to emergency department contact was fairly constant during this

period for traffic injuries and home and leisure injuries and slightly decreasing for workplace

injuries. About 7% of those injured were hospitalized.

The number of fatal accidents has been declining during the period 1990-2009, in particular

for children and young adults. Among children under 15 years of age, especially deaths due

to traffic injuries and drowning have been decreasing. For the age group 15-24 in particular,

deaths in road traffic accidents have dropped. Among older Danes over 65 years of age, no

clear trend can be found. However, there has been a steady decline in the number of trafficrelated

deaths among the elderly. A change in the coding of cause of death by falls in the

middle of the period, however, makes it difficult to assess the real trend in deaths due to

home and leisure injuries (figure 4.1.1)


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