Exploring a hidden epidemic: drowning among adults aged 65 years and older

Clemens, Tessa, Peden, Amy E., and Franklin, Richard C. (2021) Exploring a hidden epidemic: drowning among adults aged 65 years and older. Journal of Aging and Health, 33 (10). pp. 828-837.

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Objectives: To explore trends in unintentional fatal drowning among older adults (65 years and older).

Methods: Total population retrospective analysis of unintentional fatal drowning among people aged 65 years and older in Australia, Canada and New Zealand (2005–2014) was conducted.

Results: 1459 older adults died. Rates ranged from 1.69 (Canada) to 2.20 (New Zealand) per 100,000. Trends in crude drowning rates were variable from year to year. A downward trend was observed in New Zealand (y = −.507ln(x) + 2.9918), with upward trends in Australia (y =.1056ln(x) + 1.5948) and Canada (y =.1489ln(x) + 1.4571). Population projections suggest high annual drowning deaths by 2050 in Australia (range: 120–190; 1.69–2.76/100,000) and Canada (range: 209–430; 1.78–3.66/100,000). Significant locations and activities associated with older adult drowning differed by country and age band.

Conclusions: Drowning among older adults is a hidden epidemic claiming increasing lives as the population ages. Targeted drowning prevention strategies are urgently needed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other similar countries.

Item ID: 70711
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1552-6887
Keywords: drowning, epidemiology, frailty, injury, mortality, sarcopenia
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 21:58
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200408 Injury prevention and control @ 100%
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