Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 299-303

Predictors of assault among urban female trauma patients

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
2 Department of Surgery, Albert Einstein University, New York, USA
3 Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Marie Crandall
Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.102365

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Background: Assault is a common mechanism of injury among female trauma victims. This paper identifies risk factors for assault in female victims and explores the interplay between identified predictors of assault and their combined contribution to female violent victimization. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of all female trauma patients was performed using the Illinois Department of Public Health Trauma Registry from 1999-2003. Patients with assault listed as their mechanism of injury were compared to patients with other mechanisms of injury. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed using STATA statistical software to identify independent risk factors for assault. Finally, interaction affects were studied among these identified risk factors. Results: Female victims of assault were more likely to be African American (OR 1.32, P < 0.001), lack insurance (OR 1.79, P < 0.001), and to have tested positive for drugs (OR 1.32, P < 0.001) than women with other mechanisms of injury. In addition to the independent effects of these variables, patient drug use and lack of insurance demonstrated interaction effects (OR 1.67, P = 0.02). Conclusion: In this study, women of color, the uninsured, and those using drugs were disproportionately represented among assault victims, highlighting further evidence of trauma disparities. Most significantly, this study demonstrates that predictors of assault in women frequently coexist and both independently and in combination may increase the risk for female violent victimization.

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