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Advances in Public Health
Volume 2015, Article ID 376467, 3 pages
Research Article

Severity of Burn Injury and the Relationship to Socioeconomic Status in Nova Scotia, Canada

1Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dalhousie Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
2Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

Received 11 April 2015; Accepted 14 June 2015

Academic Editor: Guang-Hui Dong

Copyright © 2015 Jeffrey Le et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Few Canadian studies have examined the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and incidence of burn injury. We seek to evaluate this relationship using median income as a measure of SES in Nova Scotia, Canada. Methods. Nova Scotia residents admitted to the Queen Elizabeth II burn unit in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 1995 to 2012, were included in the study. SES was estimated by linking the subject’s postal code to median family household income via Canadian population census data at the level of dissemination areas. Four equal income groups ranging from lowest to highest income quartile were compared (average total burn percentage). Likelihood ratio was calculated to evaluate the effect of median family income burn injury in each income quartile. Results. 302 patients were included in the analysis. Average percent total burn surface area was 19%, 15%, 15%, and 14% () per income quartile (Q1: lowest, Q4: highest), respectively. Likelihood ratios for income quartile Q1–Q4 were 1.3 (0.8–1.6), 1.2 (0.6–1.4), and 0.7 (0.6–1.2), respectively. Conclusion. Contrary to findings in other geographic regions of the world, severity or incidence of burn injury in Nova Scotia, Canada, does not change in relation to SES when using family median income as a surrogate.