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Burns. 2012 Jun;38(4):591-8. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2011.10.015. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Urban compared with rural and remote burn hospitalisations in Western Australia.

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Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia.



To compare the incidence, temporal trends and cause of burn hospitalisations between urban, rural and remote regions in Western Australia, 1983-2008.


De-identified linked hospital morbidity and mortality records for all persons hospitalised for an index burn in Western Australia were analysed 1983-2008. Annual age-specific incidence and age standardised rates were estimated. Poisson regression analyses were used to estimate temporal trends in hospital admissions by urban, rural and remote region.


Of 23,450 burn-related hospital admissions 1983-2008, 14,007 (59.7%) were in urban, 5442 (23.1%) rural and 4021 (17.2%) remote hospital regions. Hospitalisation rates were higher in rural (Incidence rate ratio (IRR), 95% CI: 1.5, 1.4-1.6) and remote (IRR, 95%C: 2.1, 2.0-2.2) regions compared to urban. Age-standardised rates of burn hospital admissions declined from 1983 to 2008 for each region with 26-year declines of 56% (95% CI: 51-60) for remote, 71% (95% CI: 68-73) for rural, and 9% (95% CI: 4-14) for admissions in urban regions. Scald was the most common cause for urban admissions while flame the most common cause for rural and remote burn admissions.


Significant differences in the incidence, and cause of burn were identified between urban, rural and remote regions in Western Australia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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