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Injury mortality among ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands
  1. I Stirbu,
  2. A E Kunst,
  3. V Bos,
  4. E F van Beeck
  1. Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr I Stirbu
 Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, Netherlands; i.stirbu{at}


Objectives: To prepare a comprehensive overview of ethnic differences in injury related mortality in the Netherlands and to determine the role of area income and urbanisation degree.

Methods: Data for the period 1995–2000 were obtained from the population and cause of death registries. Injury related death rates were compared for persons from Turkish, Moroccans, Surinamese, and Antillean/Aruban origin with rates for the native Dutch population.

Results: Compared with the native Dutch population, all ethnic minorities combined had an increased mortality for all injuries together (RR = 1.29). Ethnic minorities experienced a significantly higher risk of death from pedestrian accidents (RR = 1.87), drowning (RR = 2.58), poisoning (RR = 1.76), fire and scalds (RR = 1.95), and homicide (RR = 3.24). Mortality for cyclists (RR = 0.53) and motorcycle drivers (RR = 0.47) was significantly lower among ethnic minorities compared with the native Dutch. Adjustment for area income and urbanisation decreased the mortality risk difference for most of the non-traffic injuries, but showed a difference in risk for car driver and passenger accidents (RR = 1.37). Compared with the native Dutch inhabitants, Surinamese and Antillean/Aruban population had a higher risk of total injury mortality (RR = 1.33 and 1.53 respectively), while Turkish and Moroccans had increased risk only for selected conditions. Inequalities in injury mortality were the highest among children and young adults, but persisted in the age group above 50 years old.

Conclusion: Ethnic differences in injury mortality in the Netherlands strongly depended on type of injury, ethnic group, sex, and age. Policies should be aimed at the prevention of high risk injuries among the most vulnerable ages and ethnic groups.

  • mortality
  • inequalities
  • ethnic minorities

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  • Funding: none.

  • Competing interests: none declared.

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