Apartment Dwellers Face Higher Injury Risk

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Apartment and Injury

Compared to people who live in detached or single-family homes, apartment dwellers experience substantially higher rates of injury, according to a new study from Wales.

"People who lived in apartments had twice the risk of any type of injury," said lead researcher Ronan Lyons, whose study showed that apartment residents had a twofold increase in risk from burns and scalds and a sixfold increase in poisonings.

Home injuries were exceptionally common overall, said Lyons, a professor of public health at the University of Wales Swansea. Among the 112,248 people who lived in 58,000 residences, there were 18,044 emergency department visits for injuries that occurred at home.

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The study from the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine identified the risk of home injuries based on the homes' exterior structure, age and size.

By combining data from population registers, architectural surveys and emergency-department medical records, researchers determined the risk of injury for people who lived in detached houses, semi-detached houses converted to apartments, apartment buildings and row houses, all in the Neath-Port Talbot County area of South Wales.

Although a U.K. housing rating system suggests that older homes increase the risk of injury, this was not supported by study data.

Lyons said that higher poisoning rates among apartment dwellers "suggest that behavioral issues are very important in that group of residents.

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