Ethics. Research. Community.

Drowning in Alaskan waters.

Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974). 
1996 Nov-Dec
[Record Source: PubMed]
OBJECTIVE: To enumerate drowning fatalities in Alaska in order to identify risk factors and areas for intervention. METHODS: Information from death certificates, state troopers' reports, and medical examiner reports were abstracted and analyzed. Rates were calculated using 1990 census figures as denominator data. RESULTS: There were 542 drowning fatalities in Alaska for the years 1988 to 1992. The 20-29 age group had the highest frequency and rate of drownings. The incidence rate for the state was 20 drownings per 100,000 population per year, almost 10 times higher than the overall U.S. rate of 2.11 per 100,000 per year. Incidence rates were highest among adolescent males (10-19), young adult males (20-29). Alaska Natives, and rural residents. Alaska Native males, ages 30-39 averaged 159 drownings per 100,000 per year, the highest drowning rates in the state. CONCLUSIONS: Drowning is a major public health concern in Alaska. People who fish commercially and young Native males are groups at high risk for drowning. Intervention efforts should be concentrated on these two populations.
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