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Bull World Health Organ. 1992;70(2):251-7.

A case-control study of injuries arising from the earthquake in Armenia, 1988.

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Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205.


The study attempts to identify predictors of injuries among persons who were hospitalized following the Armenian earthquake of 7 December 1988. A total of 189 such individuals were identified through neighbourhood polyclinics in the city of Leninakan and 159 noninjured controls were selected from the same neighbourhoods. A standardized interview questionnaire was used. Cases and controls shared many social and demographic characteristics; however, 98% of persons who were hospitalized with injuries were inside a building at the time of the earthquake, compared with 83% of the controls (odds ratio = 12.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.62-63.79). The odds ratio of injuries for individuals who were in a building that had five or more floors, compared with those in lower buildings, was 3.65 (95% CI = 2.12-6.33). Leaving buildings after the first shock of the earthquake was a protective behaviour. The odds ratio for those staying indoors compared with those who ran out was 4.40 (95% CI = 2.24-8.71).

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