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Scand J Prim Health Care. 1991 Sep;9(3):203-7.

Trauma in the elderly: the impact on the health care system.

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Department of Surgery, University of Umeå, Sweden.


The impact of injuries in the elderly on the acute health care system was assessed in terms of the cost of injuries. The cost of injuries in the elderly (greater than or equal to 60 years) was compared with that in the younger group (less than 60 years) in a health district in northern Sweden. Even though the elderly made up only one sixth of the total injured during a one year period, they accounted for 42% of the total cost of the medical care of injuries. The mean medical care cost increased significantly from the age of 60 years; the cost was four times higher in the older group than in the younger group. Severe injuries in the elderly cost almost 2.5 times more than those in the younger group. In conclusion, since the elderly place a heavy burden on the health care system, they urgently need to be given priority in injury research and injury intervention programmes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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