Factors mediating demographic determinants of injury mortality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Elevated injury mortality rates persist for men and people of color despite attempts to standardize trauma care in the United States. This study investigates the role of injury characteristics and access to trauma care as mediators of the relationships between race, ethnicity, sex, and injury mortality. Methods: Data on prehospital and trauma center care were examined for adult injured patients in Maryland who were transported by emergency medical services to designated trauma centers (n = 15,355)or who died while under emergency medical services care (n = 727). Potential mediators of the relationship between demographic characteristics and injury mortality were identified through exploratory analyses. Total, direct, and indirect effects of race, ethnicity, and sex were estimated using multivariable mediation models. Results: Prehospital time, hospital distance, injury mechanism, and insurance status mediated the effect of African American race, resulting in a 5.7% total increase (95% CI: 1.6%, 9.9%)and 5.6% direct decrease (95% CI: 1.1%, 9.9%)in odds of death. Mechanism, insurance, and distance mediated the effect of Hispanic ethnicity, resulting in an 11.4% total decrease (95% CI: 6.4%, 16.2%)and 13.4% direct decrease (95% CI: 8.1%, 18.3%)in odds of death. Injury severity, mechanism, insurance, and time mediated the effect of male sex, resulting in a 27.3% total increase (95% CI: 21.6%, 10.9%)and a 6.2% direct increase (95% CI: 1.8%, 10.9%)in odds of death. Conclusions: Distance, injury characteristics, and insurance mediate the effects of demographic characteristics on injury mortality and appear to contribute to disparities in injury mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64.e2
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Access to care
  • Emergency medical services
  • Health disparities
  • Injury
  • Trauma surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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