Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
Objectives: i) to identify factors that contribute to the global trend of the higher incidence of male drowning relative to females, and; ii) to explore relationships between such factors from mortality data in New Zealand. Methods: Drownings from 1983 to 2012 were examined for: Age, Ethnicity, Site, Activity, Buoyancy and Alcohol. Conditional frequency tables presented as mosaic plots were used to assess the interactions of these factors. Results: Alcohol was involved in a high proportion of Accidental Immersion drownings (61%) and was highest for males aged 20-24 years. When alcohol was involved there were proportionally more incidences where a life jacket was Available But Not Worn and less incidences where a life jacket was Worn. Many 30-39 year old males drowned during underwater activities (e.g., snorkeling, diving). Older men (aged +55 years old) had a high incidence of drowning while boating. Different ethnicities were over-represented in different age groups (Asian men aged 25-29, and European men aged 65-74) and when involved in different activities. Conclusions: Numerous interacting factors are responsible for male drownings. In New Zealand, drowning locations and activities differ by age and ethnicity which require targeted intervention strategies.
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