Overseas visitor deaths in Australia, 2001 to 2003

Leggat, Peter A., and Wilks, Jeffrey (2009) Overseas visitor deaths in Australia, 2001 to 2003. Journal of Travel Medicine, 16 (4). pp. 243-247.

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Background: The health and safety of international visitors remain an important issue for Australia and other tourist destinations. The death of visitors remains an important indicator of safety. The aim of this study was to provide updated figures on deaths of overseas travelers in Australia.

Methods: Data were sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics concerning deaths of overseas visitors for the years 2001 to 2003.

Results: There were 1,068 overseas visitor deaths (701 males, 66%) during the study period 2001 to 2003. Death by natural causes increased with age, while deaths associated with accidents were more frequent among younger age groups. The majority of deaths were from natural causes (782, 73%), particularly ischemic heart diseases (26%). There were a total of 247 accidental deaths (23% of all deaths) with the main causes being transportation accidents (14% of all deaths) and accidental drowning/submersion (5% of all deaths). The countries contributing the most deaths were the UK (247, 23%), New Zealand (108, 10%) Melanesia/Micronesia (95, 9%), and the United States (57, 5%).

Conclusions: Australia remains a relatively safe destination for international travelers, at least in terms of fatalities, which appear to be declining. Most deaths of overseas tourists in Australia are due to natural causes with cardiovascular disease being the predominant cause of death in this group. Accidents remain the most common preventable cause of death of travelers, with road and water safety being the major issues. It is important that tourism and travel medicine groups continue to advocate for improved health and safety of international travelers visiting Australia.

Item ID: 10898
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1708-8305
Keywords: travel medicine; deaths; travellers; Australia; mortality
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Date Deposited: 07 May 2010 00:59
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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