Health reporting on accidents in Bavaria


The Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority has recently published a short report, 'Health monitor Bavaria 1/2008 – Accidents in Bavaria'. The short report is the first of its kind in Germany as it gives an overview of the entire range of accidents in Bavaria as well as at the national level.

The report is targeted at policy-makers and stakeholders with a view of supporting and stimulating further development and action in accident prevention. Here are the main findings:

Based on data from 2005 the report estimates that around 8.4 million people per year are injured as a result of accidents in Germany of which 1.25 million are injured in Bavaria. These figures represent approximately 10% of the respective populations.

In 2006 a total of 19,497 people were killed in accidents in Germany of which 2,677 were killed in Bavaria. In the age group from 5-10 up to the 25-35 age group, accidents are the most common cause of death when compared with other ICD (International Classification of Diseases) main groups.

Domestic accidents play a major role accounting for about one third of all accident related injuries. Falls among elderly people are the most common type of accident. In contrast to road traffic and occupational accidents the number of domestic accidents has not declined in recent years.

The health report also examines gender differences in accidents. For most types of accidents the accident rate is higher in males than in females. This difference is particularly striking in relation to fatal accidents. The age standardised death rate in males in 2006 was more than double the rate in females (23.8 fatalities per 100.000 in males versus 9.6 per 100.000 in females). Males are more at risk of having a fatal accident than females. In young adulthood (in the 25-35 age group) the risk of a fatal accident in males is four times higher than in females.

For the first time in Germany data from primary/outpatient care was utilised in the analysis of accidents. These data show that the number of people needing medical care due to an accident increases from middle-age onwards. In 2006 one in five people aged 80 years or older required primary medical care after having an accident.

Regarding accidents in children, the data show high rates of children sustaining head injuries requiring hospital care. Falls are the predominant cause of accidents in this age-group. Analyses of the Bavarian child health assessment carried out among children going to school for the first time show that on reaching school age, nearly one third of all children had already suffered an accident. The most common accidents occur at home (approx. 50%) or at the kindergarten/nursery (approx. 20%). At school most accidents in younger pupils happen during break-time and in older pupils during Physical Education lessons. Accidents at school by far outnumber accidents that occur on the way to school, although the latter often lead to more serious injuries.

A very positive finding is that the number of casualties from road traffic accidents has declined in Germany from 599,364 in 1970 to 427,428 in 2006. The decline in the number of fatal road traffic accidents over the same time span is even more striking: the number of fatalities has been reduced by 75%, from 21,332 in 1970 to 5,091 in 2006. Male novice drivers are most at risk of being involved in road traffic accidents.

A decline in occupational accidents has also been reported in recent years. In 2005 there were 1,029,520 recorded occupational accidents in Germany of which 191,957 occurred in Bavaria. For 2006, however, an upward trend can be observed which is assumed to be caused predominantly by the growing number of people in employment.

Finally, the injury related costs just to the health care system are estimated at more than €10 billion per year for Germany as a whole and approximately €1.6 billion per year for Bavaria.

Source : Dr. Joseph Kuhn

More info: The report “Health monitor Bavaria 1/2008 - Accidents in Bavaria's ("Gesundheitsmonitor Bayern 1/2008 – Unfälle in Bayern") is available in pdf-format at:

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