Falls most common cause of hospitalised injury

More Australians are being hospitalised for injuries, with falls and transport crashes remaining the leading cause of injuries.


The findings are according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).


The report, Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia 1999–00 to 2014–15, shows falls account for almost half (41%) of all hospitalised injuries, followed by transport crashes (12%).  


“The number of hospitalised injury cases rose from 327,000 in 1999–00 to 480,000 in 2014–15,” says AIHW spokesperson Professor James Harrison from the Research Centre for Injury Studies at Flinders University.


“This equated to 1 person requiring hospitalisation in every 58 Australians in 1999-00, rising to about 1 in 50 in 2014–15,” says Professor Harrison.


After adjusting for changes in the population structure, this is an average rate increase of about 1% per year.


Men and boys made up the majority (55%) of injuries in 2014–15. The greatest number of injury cases for males occurred at age 20-24.


The greatest number of injury cases for females occurred at age 85-89 in 2014-15. Despite this wide age range, falls are the most common cause of hospitalised injury in both men (32%) and women (52%).

“Overall, people aged 65 or over accounted for 30% of injury cases, with the majority of these being for falls,” Professor Harrison said.


People living in remote areas of Australia required hospitalisation for injury at twice the rate of those living in major cities – with 1 in 27 people living in very remote areas requiring hospitalisation compared to 1 in 54 in major cities.


‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also twice as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to be hospitalised for injury,’ Professor Harrison said.


As part of today’s release, the AIHW has also new information on other injury topics. These reports, Eye injuries Australia 2012–2015, Spinal cord injury Australia 2014–15, and Trends in hospitalised injury due to falls in older Australians 2002–03 to 2014–15 can be accessed through the AIHW website.


See also "Trends in hospitalised injury due to falls in older people 2002–03 to 2014–15":

  • Just over 100,000 people aged 65 and over were hospitalised due to a fall in 2014–15
  • Injuries to the hip and thigh (24%) and head (24%) were the most common types of injury resulting from a fall
  • Women accounted for most of these fall injury cases (74,186)
  • Rates of injuries to the head more than doubled over the period 2002-03 to 2014-15.


16 May 2018.