A total of 8623 patients admitted to hospital in Western Australia with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus during 1971-9 were linked with hospital admissions for road trauma during the same period, and their admission rates compared with the whole population. Although there was no overall difference, there was a significant excess of admissions in diabetic men aged under 55, the excess being produced by those in control of a vehicle and pedestrians. There were smaller excesses in the same female age group and a corresponding deficit in older diabetics. The results are limited through being based on routinely collected data on hospital admissions both for diabetics and victims of road crashes but indicate that there is a real problem of road accidents among diabetics that should be more fully investigated with a population based study that would collect important additional information unavailable in this study.
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