Background: Violence is a global public health problem leading to injuries, long-term physical, sexual or mental health problems and mortality. The burden of violence-related injuries remains understudied in the Arabian Gulf region. The present study aimed to describe the epidemiology of hospitalized violence-related injuries in Qatar.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of trauma registry data from a level 1 trauma center was conducted by including all patients presented to the hospital following violence-related injuries in the duration between June 2010 and June 2017. We analyzed and compared the hospitalized interpersonal and self-inflicted violence groups.
Results: The hospitalization rate of violence-related injuries was 4.6 per 100,000 population per year; it was significantly higher in males (5.5/100,000 males/year vs. 1.8/100,000 females/year) and in younger population, specifically in the 25-34 years age-group (41%). South Asians constituted 55% of the affected study population. Interpersonal violence (76.7%) was the commonest type of violence. Significant differences between interpersonal and self-inflicted violence were evident especially the type of trauma (i.e. blunt or penetrating), injured body regions, alcohol use, injury severity, intubation and psychiatric referrals (p<0.05). Overall in-hospital mortality was 6.4%; higher rate was reported in females (16% vs.5%, p=0.001). Outcomes including length of hospital stay and mortality were comparable regardless of the type of violence. Multivariable analysis showed that male gender and Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) positivity were predictors for interpersonal violence whereas Injury Severity Score and Glasgow Coma Scale were predictors of mortality among violence patients.
Conclusions: The rate of hospitalization for violence-related injuries in Qatar is low; however, its burden on the trauma system is of concern. Although it comprised only 9.6% of the study population, females are more likely to get hospitalized following self-inflicted injuries when compared to interpersonal violence. Disproportionate burden of violence in the South Asians and young population warrants an evidence-based public health approach in violence prevention to well address the risk factors.