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Potential gains in life expectancy by improving road safety in China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Road traffic injuries (RTI) cause a significant number of injuries and deaths in China every year; the World Health Organization estimated 261,367 deaths due to RTI in 2013. As a result of the ongoing growth of China's economy, road construction and motorisation, RTI are expected to impose a heavy health burden in the future. However, the public and policy makers have not widely perceived RTI as a public health issue commensurate with its consequences, in part, due to a lack of intuitive indicator measuring the health impact.

STUDY DESIGN

Employs the cause-eliminating life table technique to provide a measure of the burden of RTI based on data from a nationally representative surveillance system in China.

METHODS

Previous studies have used indicators such as event counts, rates and disability-adjusted life years to measure the health impact of RTI; but this study uses potential gains in life expectancy to measure this impact.

RESULTS

Eliminating RTI could lead to a gain of 0.52 years in life expectancy in 2012, meaning that on average Chinese people could live a half year more than they would in the presence of RTI. Males have a substantially higher RTI death rate and consequently could have a gain in life expectancy more than twice as large as females (male 0.72 years vs female 0.28 years). The gain in rural areas (0.65 years) is twice that in urban areas (0.32 years).

CONCLUSIONS

The significant gain in life expectancy signals the urgency for public actions to improve road safety; the disparity in the burden across regions and sexes indicate a great opportunity for targeted interventions to protect health and save lives.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA. Electronic address: qli28@jhu.edu.

    ,

    International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA; Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Baltimore, USA.

    ,

    International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA.

    International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA.

    Source

    Public health 144S: 2017 Mar pg S57-S61

    MeSH

    Accidents, Traffic
    Adult
    China
    Female
    Forecasting
    Humans
    Life Expectancy
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Population Surveillance
    Public Health
    Quality-Adjusted Life Years
    Safety
    Safety Management
    Sex Distribution
    Wounds and Injuries
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    28288733