Socioeconomic differences in injury risks. A review of findings and a discussion of potential countermeasures



Violence and injuries are not only one of the major causes of premature death but are also considered as one of the causes of mortality with the steepest social gradient. This report presents an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding socioeconomic differences in injury risks, reviewing mortality and morbidity studies conducted both inside and outside the WHO European Region, published during the past 17 years and addressing the leading causes of injury, both intentional or unintentional: interpersonal violence, self-directed violence, traffic, falls, drowning, poisoning and burns. Around 300 scientific articles have been selected and reviewed with the aim of highlighting the main features of the knowledge at hand, including where it comes from, how much attention has been paid to various injury causes, which segments of the population have been considered, and whether European studies, when they exist, obtain results that are similar to those from other parts of the world. Studies of interventions that specifically examine outcome effects across socioeconomic groups or areas were also reviewed.