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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Population-based incidences of non-fatal injuries - results of the German-wide telephone survey 2004

Anke-Christine Sass1* and Andreas Stang2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring, Robert Koch Institute, General-Pape-Str. 62, Berlin, 12101, Germany

2 Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Magdeburger Str. 8, Halle, 06097, Germany

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:376  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-376

Published: 22 April 2013



To plan preventive measures against accident-related injuries, it is important to have detailed epidemiological data on this topic. The aim of this report was to present population-based incidence estimates of injuries due to non-fatal accidents in relation to age, gender and educational level.


We performed a cross-sectional telephone survey from 2003 to 2004 of the resident adult population of Germany, which included 7,341 subjects (response rate: 32.6 to 39.4%). The interview included 13 questions about injuries caused by accidents that happened in the 12 months preceding the interview. We estimated one-year cumulative incidences of injuries by gender, age and educational level.


Overall, 10.3% of the subjects reported an unintentional injury requiring medical treatment in the previous 12 months. The age-standardised incidence of injuries was higher among men than women (men: 11.3%, women: 8.9%). Generally, accidents at home were the most frequently reported (27.4%). Men and women aged 18 to 29 years suffered accident-related injuries (and also repeated injuries) the most often during the preceding 12 months.

Although the overall incidence of injuries caused by accidents did not differ by educational level, the incidences of accidents at different places differed by educational level. The incidence of work-related injuries was higher among people with a low educational level.


Our age- and gender-specific results provide detailed insight into specific patterns of accident-related injuries in Germany. Young men are especially at high risk of injuries. This information is valuable because a nationwide comprehensive recording of injuries caused by accidents does not exist. The data highlight the target groups for injury prevention measures.

Epidemiology; Germany; Injuries; Accidents; Traffic accidents; Domestic accidents; Leisure-time accidents; Work-related accidents; Incidence; Health survey