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#262204 - 07/31/13 02:17 AM Avoid death by injury- Live in a city
acropolis5 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/18/06
Posts: 332
The New York Times,Science Section today reported the result of a study, published in The Annals of Emergency Medicine, finding that deaths by injury are much lower in large cities versus rural areas. The study covered an analysis of 1.3 million deaths by injury, in more than 3,000 counties, nationwide from 1999 through 2006.

I told you guys that we city boys really did know how to lead "La Buena Vida" !

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#262205 - 07/31/13 02:58 AM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: acropolis5]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
The quick availability of EMS, hospitals close by, or even bystanders to call 911 when something happens probably plays a large role in the higher mortality among rural folks.

I would assume they broke down the injuries by type. The kinds of injuries suffered in rural areas might be more severe than your typical urban injuries. Less heavy machinery or chemicals involved in the city, I would imagine.

DUI could be important. There are more options to get home after drinking in urban areas besides getting behind the wheel yourself and driving long distances.

The rural population is generally older than the general urban population in many locales. Older folks are more prone to various injuries and more likely to succumb to their injuries than younger people.

My two cents from a city boy. smile

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#262207 - 07/31/13 03:02 AM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: acropolis5]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1622
Loc: Northern California
Everybody has to die somehow. I wonder what the other stats are. For example, if deaths by cardiac arrest, cancer, or suicide are a higher rate in the city, that's not a desirable trade-off.
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#262210 - 07/31/13 05:28 AM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: acropolis5]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1383
Originally Posted By: acropolis5
I told you guys that we city boys really did know how to lead "La Buena Vida" !


While living "la vida loca"...

I can't seem to find the study. Do you have the URL? I'm finding articles to read on monogamy, killer whales, standing water waves...

Knowing the risks are nice, but I'm afraid we're all going to pick our location based on many other factors, and I doubt this study will make anyone relocate. We seek pleasure, right? If there are risks, we try to manage them.

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#262211 - 07/31/13 06:29 AM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: Bingley]
acropolis5 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/18/06
Posts: 332
Bingley my friend , you are correct . That article is not on the NYT website. But it is in the 7/30 paper edition, on page D4 of the Science Section. Strange? However , if you Google "study, cities less injury prone", it does show-up on the NY Daily News website.

The comments offered to explain the test results are all plausible , but perhaps incomplete. City dwellers, due to density and rapidly changing micro environments, e.g. Trains, traffic, crime, crowds, dicey neighborhoods, etc. are more street savvy. They pay more attention. They actively teach "street smarts" to their kids. I think It makes a difference.

My wife and I both grew up and were educated in very dense working/ middle class urban neighborhoods. We can walk down an avenue, turn to walk up a street and just know its "wrong" an go on to a safer cross street. We ended up raising our kids in a leafy suburb, over my objection, based in part on an inability to convey that street smarts in the burb environment. I had to take the kids to the City and walk them around, repeatedly, to teach them some semblance of street smarts. It got better when they went to urban universities.


No flame intended, but in our rapidly urbanizing world, city survival skills are much more likely to be needed by John and Jane Doe, than wilderness skills. And to head off some criticism, I agree that some skills overlap, e. g. First aid, driving safety. But, your average Scout cannot read a train/ bus schedule, sense a bad block, evacuate a train tunnel, de-escalate a combative encounter with a drunk , etc.

Just my two cents. "Opinions differ."


Edited by acropolis5 (07/31/13 06:44 AM)

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#262213 - 07/31/13 02:14 PM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: acropolis5]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
This morning, I was skimming the actual study the news is based on. The authors conclude:
Quote:
Although by and large the increased injury–related mortality risk to rural residents is driven by these motor vehicle crash–related injury deaths, other less common injury mechanisms with increased risk of death in rural areas include machinery injuries, injuries from being struck, and environmental/exposure injuries

So, it's mostly car crashes that drive this urban/rural difference. They found that homicide risks were indeed higher in urban areas, but the motor vehicle risk for rural folks was much bigger and overshadowed the homicide risk.

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#262214 - 07/31/13 02:29 PM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: Arney]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4772
Loc: SOCAL
If you look at numbers for all violent deaths (be it MV accidents or drive by shootings), I'll take my chances in a rural setting. The most violent predator out there is man and high concentrations of peeps seem to have an exponential impact on that violence factor.
$.02

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#262215 - 07/31/13 04:16 PM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: Russ]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1090
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Russ
If you look at numbers for all violent deaths (be it MV accidents or drive by shootings), I'll take my chances in a rural setting. The most violent predator out there is man and high concentrations of peeps seem to have an exponential impact on that violence factor.
$.02

Russ you might think that, but the actual data seems to suggest otherwise. From Country life riskier than city living, U.S. study shows:

Quote:
"Although homicides in cities far outpace those in rural areas, overall the risk of dying from some form of accident or injury is 20 percent greater in the most rural counties of the United States than in the nation's biggest cities."
-------------snip----------------
"Myers said when people think of their personal safety, they tend to think about intentionally inflicted injuries, such as being attacked or shot, but the researchers found that the risk of dying from an accidental injury is 40 percent higher in the nation's most rural counties than in its most urban.

"It turns out unintentional injuries dwarf intentional injuries," Myers said, and those types of injuries occur much more often in rural areas."

-------------snip----------------
"When the team looked at firearm-related deaths, they found no significant difference in the overall risk of death between urban counties and rural counties, but there were significant differences in the trends by age.

In rural areas, for example, children aged up to 14 and adults over 45 had the highest risk of dying from a firearm injury, but among adults aged 20 to 44, the risk of a firearm-related death was much higher in urban areas, and the risk was about the same for youths aged 15 to 19, regardless of where they lived."


You can read the actual study at http://www.annemergmed.com/webfiles/images/journals/ymem/FA-5548.pdf
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#262219 - 07/31/13 05:54 PM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: AKSAR]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4772
Loc: SOCAL
Thanks, interesting study. I'll need to study it a bit more but taken at face value the only thing I can think of is proximity (time/distance) to emergency services. I cannot imagine how a rural setting itself would be more inherently dangerous than urban. Thanks again.

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#262220 - 07/31/13 06:02 PM Re: Avoid death by injury- Live in a city [Re: acropolis5]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1383
It's probably got something to do with human psychology that we're willing to put up with the risks of unintentional injuries and not with the those of violent crime, even though the former may be greater than the latter.

As for being "street smart," I suspect a lot of that may be somewhat local and period-dependent. Other than the obvious sort of guideline that anyone can follow ("avoid unlit, isolated alleys in the middle of the night"), much of what you need is based on recognizing certain patterns or patterns of behaviors, and knowing what kind of risks these patterns pose. Gang colors, guy looking to sell drugs, muggers casing potential victims, con artists trying to get money with a sob story, frauds trying to entrap you in a manufactured traffic accident, etc. But whereas wilderness survival skills can be codified in a book -- nature doesn't change that much -- this kind of urban stuff changes a lot. Perhaps the nature of crime doesn't change so much, but the specific details we need to pick out a pattern can change. So whereas Boy Scouts can learn to start a fire or canoe, maybe it's just harder to learn how to survive in the city.

People who aren't used to managing the risks of living in the city just may not have the skills to make themselves safer. They choose to blame the environment as dangerous, and they refuse to change their behavior to improve their own safety. Let's take a simple example. I had a roommate who drove me nuts because he didn't like locking the door, and didn't think it was that important. He got into the practice of locking doors for a few weeks when he heard about a rash of crimes in the neighborhood, but then he stopped -- because it was all safe again in his mind. I grew up in a city. I lock the front door reflexively even if I'm just going out to drop off the garbage at the dumpster. So I feel sad whenever a story comes up about attacks on tourists in big cities. Sometimes these guys put themselves at risk without ever realizing it, by going to places that I'd never go to at the wrong time of the day.

So I think some people just adopt the urban survival strategy of staying away from the city, because they just don't have the knowledge of surviving in the city. Some of them may even choose to regard wilderness survival as an inherently more valuable skill than urban street smarts. This sort of stuff can also be due to a cultural divide as well.

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