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Afrimedic Journal

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Injuries among Adolescents

UM Ugwoke

Abstract


Background: Injuries are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide especially among adolescents. Despite their enormous threat to health, they have not received reasonable attention until in the recent past. This paper reviews the various causes of injury, established the high rates of injuries among adolescents, and identified the various factors responsible for high injury rates among adolescents and the associated socioeconomic variables. Finally, it looked into various preventive strategies with a view to reducing the burden in the society.
Method: A review of published literatures on injuries from reputable journals, public heath textbooks and internet search using PubMed and Google search engines.
Result: Injuries contribute a lot to health related and disease burden worldwide being more prevalent among adolescents. A reasonable percentage of the world's mortality rate is accounted for by injuries, road traffic accidents being the leading cause world over. Male adolescents have higher rates compared to their female counterparts and injuries are commoner among older adolescents especially those from minority ethnic group. Low socioeconomic class, living with single parent or nonbiological parents were found to be contributing factors to high rate of injury. Individual factors like bad temperament, aggressive behavior, political instability, natural disaster etc. were also contributory.
Conclusion: Injury is a big threat to the general wellbeing of adolescents and could have sequelae which might follow them into adulthood. It also imposes a great financial burden to the family and health facilities. Creating awareness to the general public, putting in place and strengthening various preventive strategies are all needed.

Keywords: Injury, adolescents




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