Epidemiology of unintentional fatal drowning among migrants in Australia

Willcox-Pidgeon, Stacey, Franklin, Richard C., Leggat, Peter A., and Devine, Susan (2021) Epidemiology of unintentional fatal drowning among migrants in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 45 (3). pp. 255-262.

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Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to describe the epidemiology and risk factors contributing to drowning among migrants in Australia.

Methods: A total population retrospective epidemiological study of unintentional drowning deaths in Australia between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2019 of people born outside Australia (migrants). Cases were extracted from the National Coronial Information System. Descriptive statistics, chi-square and relative risk were calculated. Crude drowning rates were based on country of birth and population in Australia.

Results: There were 572 migrant deaths over the study period, 28.9% of total drowning deaths, 82.9% were male. Twenty-one per cent were aged 25–34 years and 40.8% had lived in Australia for 20+ years. Migrants at highest risk of drowning were from: South Korea (2.63/100,000 95%CI: 0.85–8.25), Taiwan (2.29/100,000 95%CI: 0.27–13.44), and Nepal (2.15/100,000 95%CI: 0.23–11.55). Migrants were more likely to drown when around rocks (p<0.001) compared with Australian-born people, who most frequently drowned in rivers (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Migrants are not over-represented in drowning statistics. However, unique trends were found for drowning among migrants based on country of birth and length of time in Australia.

Implications for public health: Holistic drowning prevention strategies and policies are required to effectively lower drowning risk among migrant communities.

Item ID: 68923
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1753-6405
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Funders: Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, James Cook University
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 01:11
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420299 Epidemiology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention @ 25%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420602 Health equity @ 25%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200505 Migrant health @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200408 Injury prevention and control @ 25%
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified @ 25%
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