Background. Injury is the leading cause of death for young people in Canada. For those living in the northern territories (Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories), injury represents an even greater problem, with higher rates of injury for people of all ages in northern areas compared with the rest of Canada; however, no such comparative studies have focussed specifically on non-fatal injury in youth. Objectives. To profile and examine injuries and their potential causes among youth in the northern territories as compared with other parts of Canada. Design. Cross-sectional data from the 2009/2010 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey (youth aged 11-15 years) were examined for the Canadian northern territories and the provinces (n=26,078). Individual survey records were linked to community-level data to profile injuries and then study possible determinants via multilevel regression modelling. Results. The prevalence of injury reported by youth was similar in northern populations and other parts of Canada. There were some minimal differences by injury type: northern youth experienced a greater percentage of neighbourhood (p<0.001) and fighting (p<0.02) injuries; youth in the Canadian provinces had a greater proportion of sport-related injuries (p=0.01). Among northern youth, female sex (RR=0.87, 95% CI 0.81-0.94), average (RR=0.88, 95% CI 0.80-0.97) or above-average affluence (RR-0.84, 95% CI 0.76-0.91), not being drunk in the past 12 months (RR-0.77, 95% CI 0.69-0.85), not riding an all-terrain vehicle (RR=0.81, 95% CI 0.68-0.97) and not having permanent road access (RR-0.89, 95% CI 0.80-0.98) were protective against injury; sport participation increased risk (RR-1.45, 95% CI 1.33-1.59). Conclusions. Patterns of injury were similar across youth from the North and other parts of Canada. Given previous research, this was unexpected. When implementing injury prevention initiatives, individual and community-level risk factors are essential to understand; however, specific positive safety assets that might exist in different community contexts must also be considered.

, , , , , , ,
International Journal of Circumpolar Health
Spatial Determinants of Health Lab

Byrnes, J. (Jessica), King, N. (Nathan), Hawe, P. (Penelope), Peters, P, Pickett, W. (William), & Davison, C. (Colleen). (2015). Patterns of youth injury: A comparison across the northern territories and other parts of Canada. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 74. doi:10.3402/ijch.v74.27864