Background: Interventions to reduce socio-economic inequalities in injury incidence should be tailored to specific priority areas that may be identified by descriptive studies. We aimed to provide an overview of existing socio-economic inequalities in injury incidence in the Netherlands and to assess the potential influence of methodological choices on the relationships found. Methods: Self-reported medically treated injuries (all injuries versus fractures) were derived from a survey among a random sample of 59 063 persons. Injuries resulting in hospital admissions (all injuries versus fractures) were derived from a prospective cohort study of 18 810 participants, linked to the National Hospital Discharge Register for a follow-up period of 7 years. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios of self-reported medically treated injuries and fractures by level of education, occupation and income, and of hospital-admitted injuries by level of education and occupation. Results: Socio-economic inequalities in injury incidence in the Netherlands were dependent on the indicator of non-fatal injury incidence, indicator of socio-economic status (SES) and studied cause of injury. In the majority of specific relations analyzed, injury risks were not or only moderately elevated in lower SES-classes. Analyses focusing on injury with higher severity levels (admitted injuries and/or admitted fractures) revealed the steepest SES gradient with odds ratios of injury of 1.5 or more of the lowest socio-economic (educational) groups compared to persons with higher SES (education). In hospital admitted traffic injuries, we found the most striking difference with a threefold higher risk in the lowest educational groups. Conclusion: Future descriptive research into socio-economic differences in injury incidence should include all three core indicators of SES and separate analyses on the more severe injuries should be conducted.

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Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/16477
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van Beeck, E.F., van Lenthe, F.J., Toet, H., Hertog den, P., & van Baar, M.E.. (2009). Socio-economic inequalities in injury incidence in the Netherlands. Italian Journal of Public Health, 3(2), 51–56. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/16477