Violence is a global public health concern leading to injuries, long-term physical, sexual or mental health problems and even mortality. The burden of violence-related injuries on hospital systems remains understudied in the Arabian Gulf region. The present study aimed to describe the epidemiology of hospitalized violence-related injuries in a rapidly developing Middle Eastern country.
A retrospective analysis from a level 1 trauma center, in the state of Qatar, was conducted. Data were retrieved from the Qatar national trauma registry for all patients who were admitted with violence-related injuries between June 2010 and June 2017. Analyzed data were used to compare hospitalized interpersonal and self-inflicted violence groups.
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 younger persons, particularly in the 25–34 years old population (41%). South Asians constituted 55% of the affected study population. Interpersonal violence (76.7%) was the most common mechanism of injury. Significant differences between interpersonal and self-inflicted violence groups were evident, especially for the type of trauma (i.e. blunt or penetrating), injured body regions, alcohol use, injury severity, need for intubation and psychiatric referral (p < 0.05). Overall, in-hospital mortality was 6.4%; with a significantly higher rate in females (16% vs.5%, p = 0.001). Outcomes, including length of hospital stay and mortality, were comparable between the two study groups. Multivariate analysis showed that male gender and alcohol use were predictors for interpersonal violence whereas high Injury Severity Score (ISS) and low Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) were predictors of hospital mortality.
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. The disproportionate burden of violence among South Asian and young populations warrants an evidence-based public health approach to appropriately address the risk factors and set prevention programs.