Medical Journal of Australia
Objectives: To compare the injury profiles of the Indigenous population in New South Wales with that of the non-Indigenous population.
Design and setting: Descriptive analysis of NSW Health data obtained from the Health Outcomes Information and Statistical Toolkit (HOIST) database. Hospitalisation data were collected for the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2003. Mortality data were collected for the period 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2002.
Main outcome measures: Hospitalisation and death rates due to injury by age, sex, injury mechanism and Indigenous status. Rate ratios for comparison between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Results: Rates of death from injury were higher for all age groups in the Indigenous population, except people older than 65 years. Indigenous people aged 25–44 years were twice as likely to be hospitalised as their non-Indigenous counterparts (rate ratio [RR], 2.09; 95% CI, 2.03–2.14), and five times as likely to be hospitalised for interpersonal violence (RR, 5.19; 95% CI, 4.98–5.40).
Conclusion: The higher rates of injury-related hospitalisation and death in the Indigenous population in NSW are consistent with data reported for other parts of Australia. Of particular concern is the number of Indigenous deaths and hospitalisations due to interpersonal violence.