Intentional injury among the indigenous and total populations in British Columbia, Canada: Trends over time and ecological analyses of risk




George, M. Anne
Jin, Andrew
Brussoni, Mariana
Lalonde, Christopher E.
McCormick, Rod

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International Journal for Equity in Health


Background: Our objective was to explore intentional injury disparity between Indigenous populations and the total population in the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada. We focus on hospitalizations, including both self-inflicted injuries and injuries inflicted by others. Methods: We used data from BC's universal health care insurance plan, 1991 to 2010, linked to Vital Statistics databases. Indigenous people were identified through the insurance premium group, and birth and death records. Place of residence was identified through postal code. We calculated crude hospitalization incidence rates and the Standardized Relative Risk (SRR) of hospitalization, standardized by gender, 5-year age group, and Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA). With HSDA populations as the units of observation, linear regression was used to test hypothesized associations of Indigenous ethnicity, geographic, and socio-economic characteristics with SRR of injury. Results: During the period 1991-2010, the crude rate of hospitalization for intentional injuries was 8.4 per 10,000 person-years (95% confidence interval (CI): 8.3 to 8.5) for the total BC population, compared to 45.3 per 10,000 (95% CI: 44.5 to 46.1) for the Indigenous population. For both populations, risk declined over the period for injuries self-inflicted and inflicted by others. The linear regression model predicts that the off-reserve Indigenous population will have SRR of intentional injury 3.98 greater, and the on-reserve Indigenous population 4.17, greater than the total population. The final model was an excellent fit (R-2 = 0.912, F = 177.632, p < 0.001), and found that three variables - occupational risk, high school diploma, and university degree - each provide independent effects when interacting multiplicatively with Indigenous ethnicity. Conclusions: The observation of substantially declining rates of intentional injury for both the Indigenous and total BC populations is off-set by the high disparity in risk between the two populations, which will likely continue until Canada reduces disparity with respect to discriminatory practices, and physical, social, and economic conditions.



wounds and injuries, American Indian, Aboriginal, Indigenous population, suicide, attempted, hospitalization, Canada, Inequities


George, M.A.; Jin, A.; Brussoni, M.; Lalonde, C.E.; & McCormick, R. (2017). Intentional injury among the indigenous and total populations in British Columbia, Canada: Trends over time and ecological analyses of risk. International Journal for Equity in Health, 16, article 141.