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Temporal trends in the associations between age, sex and socioeconomic status after death from motor vehicle collisions in England and Wales: 1960–2009


Objective To determine the trend in the associations between socioeconomic status and gender with median age at death in England and Wales, from 1960 to 2009.

Methods Annual cross-sectional studies of all registered deaths from a motor vehicle collision in England and Wales, 1960–2009.

Results There were 1647 deaths from a motor vehicle collision in 1960 and 964 deaths in 2009. The number of children aged 14 years or less who died in 1960 was 66 and this figure had reduced to 20 deaths by 2009. Individuals in non-manual occupations were consistently more likely to die above the median age of death than those in manual occupations during 1960–1963 (OR 1.66; 95% CI 1.50 to 1.84) and also during 1990–2000 (OR 1.54; 95% CI 1.44 to1.65). For 1960–1969, women had a higher risk of dying at above the annual median age of death (OR 1.72; 95% CI 1.62 to 1.82); for 2001–2009 the corresponding OR was 1.80 (95% CI 1.68 to 1.94).

Conclusions There has been a 41% decrease in annual deaths after motor vehicle collisions in England and Wales over the past 50 years. The number of individuals over the age of 74 years dying in motor vehicle collisions has increased slightly, while the number of children's deaths decreased by 70% over the same time period despite driving becoming more common. Involvement in motor vehicle collisions may contribute to the sex and social class gradients in life expectancy observed in England and Wales.

  • Epidemiology
  • Trauma

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