Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1436–1443

Ethnic Differences in Drowning Rates in Ontario, Canada

  • Zane R. Gallinger
  • Michael Fralick
  • Stephen W. Hwang
Original Paper

Abstract

The scientific literature suggests ethnicity may be a risk factor for drowning. Ontario, Canada is one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world. The objective of our study was to determine if Asians, Africans and Hispanics were at an increased risk of drowning compared to Greater Europeans. Ethnicity served as a surrogate for country of origin. Using Coroner’s reports, all unintentional drowning deaths in Ontario from 2004 to 2008 were reviewed. The ethnicity of drowning victims was estimated using a previously validated name-based ethnicity classifier. Age-standardized drowning rates were calculated by sex and place of residence (rural vs. non-rural) for people of each ethnicity group using the method of direct standardization. For residents of Ontario living in rural areas, the age-standardized drowning rate was significantly higher among men of Asian, African, or Hispanic ethnicity compared to men of Greater European ethnicity (RR 13.9; 95 % CI 8.1–23.8) and for women of Asian, African, or Hispanic ethnicity compared to women of Greater European ethnicity (RR 23.9; 95 % CI 6.4–89.1). These high-risk individuals need to be considered when developing drowning prevention strategies.

Keywords

Drowning Ethnicity Ontario Harm prevention Swimming Immigrant 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zane R. Gallinger
    • 1
  • Michael Fralick
    • 1
  • Stephen W. Hwang
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Internal Medicine Residents, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Research on Inner City Health, The Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge InstituteSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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