Racial and ethnic differences in pediatric unintentional injuries requiring hospitalization
This study aims to comprehensively examine racial and ethnic differences in pediatric unintentional injuries requiring hospitalization by age across injury mechanisms.
This was a retrospective, nationally representative cross-sectional analysis of discharge data within the 2016 Kids' Inpatient Database for 98,611 children ≤19 years with unintentional injuries resulting in hospitalization. Injury categories included passengers and pedestrians injured in a motor vehicle crash, falls, drownings, burns, firearms, drug and nondrug poisonings, suffocations, and other injuries. Relative risk (RR) for injuries requiring hospitalization were calculated for children of Black, Hispanic, and Other races and ethnicities compared with White children, and then RR were further stratified by age. Excessive hospitalizations were calculated as the absolute number of hospitalizations for each race and ethnicity group that would have been avoided if each group had the same rate as White children.
Black children were significantly more likely to be hospitalized compared with White children for all injury mechanisms except falls, and in nearly all age groups with the greatest RR for firearm injuries (RR 9.8 [95% confidence interval: 9.5–10.2]). Differences were associated with 6263 excessive hospitalizations among all racial and ethnic minority children compared with White children.
Racial and ethnic minority children represent populations at persistent disproportionate risk for injuries resulting in hospitalization; risk that varies in important ways by injury mechanism and children's age. These findings suggest the importance of the environmental and societal exposures that may drive these differences, but other factors, such as provider bias, may also contribute.
Journal of Hospital Medicine
Jeffries, K, Puls, HT, Hall, M, et al. Racial and ethnic differences in pediatric unintentional injuries requiring hospitalization. J Hosp Med. 2022; 17: 19- 27. doi:10.1002/jhm.2735