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Open Access Research article

Comparing the impact of socio-demographic factors associated with traffic injury among older road users and the general population in Japan

Takashi Nagata12*, Ayako Takamori3, Hans-Yngve Berg14 and Marie Hasselberg1

Author affiliations

1 Karolinska Institute, Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Global Health, Stockholm, Sweden

2 Kyushu University, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Department of Advanced Medical Initiatives, Fukuoka, Japan

3 Kurume University Graduate School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan

4 Swedish Transport Agency, Norrkoping, Sweden

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2012, 12:887  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-887

Published: 21 October 2012

Abstract

Background

The increasing number of older road users represents a public health issue because older individuals are more susceptible to traffic injury and mortality than the general population. This study investigated the association between socio-demographic factors and traffic injury and traffic mortality for the general population and among older road users in Japan.

Methods

An ecological study was conducted using national data in Japan. Multivariate regression methods were applied to investigate the association of traffic injury and traffic mortality for the general population and among older road users with significant demographic, economic, road traffic, and medical/cultural factors.

Results

Income per capita, total road length, and alcohol consumption per person were significantly associated with traffic injury and traffic mortality both for the general population and among older road users in Japan. Income per capita and alcohol consumption per person were negatively associated with traffic mortality for both groups. Meanwhile, for both groups, income per capita was positively associated with traffic injury, while total road length and alcohol consumption per person were negatively associated with traffic injury.

Conclusions

The effects of socio-demographic factors on traffic injury and traffic mortality in Japan were similar for both the general population and older road users. The study results suggest that injury preventive measures designed for the general population will be beneficial also for older road users in Japan.