Introduction Drowning is a serious public health problem in the northern provinces of Iran. The aim of this study was to describe the burden of drowning in Mazandaran province, Iran in order to inform public health priority setting and planning.
Methods Data from the Death Registry System, Legal Medicine Organization and the Ministry of Health were used to describe the burden of drowning in Mazandaran province Iran in 2008. The burden of drowning was calculated with using the standard WHO method.
Results In 2008, 273 people (91.2% male and 8.8% female) died from drowning. Mean age of death 25.3 (SD=11.7) years. Overall, 175 people were visitors and 98 residents. The death rate from drowning was 3.3 per 100 000 population. Most cases (93.4%) occurred at sea and in the month of August (33%). The overall number of life years lost was 7211 (4579 for visitors and 2632 for residents). The number of life years lost rate was 89 per 100 000 in residents. Most DALYs were in the age group 10–19 years.
Conclusion These data argue for improvement and expansion of protected beaches and increased surveillance with the creation of legislation to prohibit swimming in unprotected sea.
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