Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Epidemiology of traffic injuries and motor vehicles utilization in the Capital of Iran: A population based study

Soheil Saadat1* and Hamid Soori2

Author Affiliations

1 Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Sina Trauma and Surgery Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of Epidemiology, Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Center, Faculty of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran-Iran

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2011, 11:488  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-488

Published: 21 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Road traffic injuries are a serious public health problem worldwide. The incidence rate of fatal road traffic injuries is 26.4 per 100000 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Road traffic injuries are a major public health problem in Iran. Different routine sources are available for road traffic injuries in Iran, but they present several limitations.

This study aimed to determine the epidemiology of road traffic injuries in greater Tehran, using a population-based approach which is less prone to under-estimation compared to service-based data.

Methods

In the year 2008, 2488 households were randomly selected for a face to face interview. Trained interviewers referred to the selected households to collect the subjects' demographic information, as well as their motor vehicle utilization and traffic injuries during the year prior to data collection. All interviews were recorded using a digital voice recorder and reviewed by a quality control team the day after the interview. The Student's t-test and ANOVA were used to analyze continuous variables. Chi-square test -including a test for trend for ordinal data- was used to analyze categorical variables. Ninety-five percent confidence interval was calculated for point estimates of incidences using Poisson or binomial distribution assumptions accordingly.

Results

There were 119 traffic injury cases including 3 deaths (33 per 100 000) in the survey sample (n = 9100). The annual incidence of all traffic injuries for 1000 population was 13.1 (95% CI: 10.8 - 15.6), and that of fatal traffic injuries was 33.0 per 100 000 population (95% CI: 6.80 - 96.32). The annual incidence of collision traffic injury for 1000 motorcycles was 95.

Conclusion

This population-based study demonstrates that the morbidity rate of RTIs is about ten times higher than the national figures reported by other available sources; and this can serve as an important warning to countries like Iran to prioritize this issue in their public health activities. To ensure more safety on our roads, we need to establish an injury surveillance system, and a more accurate national data capture system on RTIs.