Non-natural deaths in San Diego county: A comparison of older adults to the general population
Background: By the year 2050, San Diego County's population will increase by an estimated 42%. However, the population of those aged 65 and older will increase by 145%. The county's aging population may affect trends of non-natural deaths. Methods: This study used the San Diego County Medical Examiner database to examine trends in the mode of non-natural deaths that occurred in the County from 1990 2010. Causes of non-natural deaths were also examined separately for accidents, suicides, and homicides. Results: From 1990 2010, the rate of accidental deaths rose by 13.3% in the general population and by 158% in those aged 65 and older. The homicide-rate fell by 74% in the general population and by 69% in older adults. The suicide-rate in the general public remained stable over the last two decades but has decreased by 39% in those 65 and older. Within accidental deaths, the rate of drug/alcohol deaths increased by 54% in the general public from 2000 2010 and by 179% in those 65 and older. Fall-related deaths increased by 138% in the general public and by 188% in those 65 and older. Specific differences within suicides and homicides were also observed. Conclusions: In San Diego County, the accidental death rate, specifically by drugs/alcohol and falls is increasing faster for those 65 and older compared to the general population. However, the suicide-rate for older adults is decreasing, which may be due to an increase in quality of life through advances in medicine and preventive behaviors.
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Differentiate the general mode of death among those 65 and older versus the general population of San Diego County. from 1990 - 2010.
Explain the differences in specific causes of death among those 65 and older versus the general population of San Diego County from 2000 - 2010.
Keyword(s): Aging, Suicide
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the epidemiologist for the County of San Diego County Medical Examiner.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.