Originally Published In
The Open Epidemiology Journal
All-terrain vehicle (ATV) related injuries are a significant source of morbidity, mortality, disability, and hospitalization, and serious injuries among the elderly are increasing. In addition, alcohol and drug use are prevalent among those injured in ATV-related incidents. However, studies indicate varying alcohol and drug use patterns among age groups and less attention has been paid to the experience of older adults and to the influence of substance abuse (alcohol or drug involvement). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between age, substance abuse and hospitalization resulting from ATV incidents among injured adults over the age of 21 (legally old enough to consume alcohol). A secondary purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between age and substance abuse, substance abuse and injured body sites, and age and injured body sites. Using a cross-sectional, quantitative approach and archival data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) from 2007, 1884 incidents were evaluated and results of multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that age and substance abuse add independent information in predicting the odds of hospitalization. Using the chi-square test, similar substance abuse involvement among young, middle-aged and older adults was found and differences in the distribution of injured body sites existed between those with and without substance abuse and between the three age groups. The results of this study suggest the need for age-specific prevention, specialized safety training for older adults, and more aggressive enforcement of drinking and driving restrictions while operating ATVs in order to reduce deaths, disabilities, and considerable financial costs associated with ATV-related hospitalizations.