Trends in childhood injury mortality in a developing country: United Arab Emirates

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Accident and Emergency Nursing








Children; Epidemiology; Mortality; Prevention; Trauma; United Arab Emirates


Objective: To describe the epidemiology of a leading cause of childhood mortality in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) - injury. To examine trends across types of injury, as well as the mechanisms of injury leading to death, by age groups, gender, citizenship, and explore mortality rates and make global comparisons. Design: This is a retrospective, descriptive, statistical analysis of unlinked hospital data. Setting: Al-Ain and Tawam Hospitals, and Preventive Medicine Department, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates. Subjects: All cases that met the conditions established for the study: fell within the age group of 0 to 14 years, suffered from injuries, and were admitted to either Al-Ain or Tawam hospitals and subsequently died within the studied time period of 1 January 1995 to 31 December 2004. Results: A total of 7204 deaths were reported in children below 15 years during the studied time period. Of these cases, 2150 children died due to injury, comprising 29.8% of total deaths. Further analysis showed that road traffic injuries were the most frequent cause of injury leading to death (68.3%). Overall injury death rates were higher in non-citizens (54.5%) than in citizens (45.5%); and males had a higher incidence, specifically a 2.1:1 ratio, than females. Children 5 to 14 years had the highest frequency of injury deaths. Overall, injury mortality rates exhibited a decreasing, though fluctuating, trend during the studied period at a rate that is comparable to those in other developed nations such as New Zealand and USA. Conclusion: The present study reveals that the burden of injury deaths among children below 15 years is significant; and injuries exist in every form and affect every age group, and gender. The high burden of injuries on children in the UAE demands the attention of the health community, including policy makers. An understanding of the trends such as those presented in this study, for instance that injuries from road traffic are prominent, will assist in the development of interventions to address this growing concern. Furthermore, similarities in rates of UAE with other developed countries signify the potential for appropriate responses to lower the burden of injuries on children in the future. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.