Dog-related deaths registered in England and Wales from 2001 to 2021

Tulloch, John SP ORCID: 0000-0003-2150-0090, Oxley, James ORCID: 0000-0001-9483-9795, Christley, Robert ORCID: 0000-0001-9250-3032 and Westgarth, Carri ORCID: 0000-0003-0471-2761
(2022) Dog-related deaths registered in England and Wales from 2001 to 2021. [Preprint]

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<h4>Introduction</h4> This study aimed to describe the incidence and demographics of fatal dog bites or strikes, as defined in English and Welsh mortality data (2001-2021). <h4>Methods</h4> Data from the Office for National Statistics registered deaths dataset were used to identify individuals whose cause of death was defined as ‘bitten or struck by a dog’. The average annual number of dog-related deaths and trends in incidence were calculated. Age and sex demographics of victims were described. <h4>Results</h4> There were 3.3 (95%CI 0.3-6.3) dog-related deaths per year, a mean annual incidence of 0.59 (95%CI 0.06-1.11) deaths per 10 million population. There was no obvious trend in incidence. Of victims, 59% were male, 10% were <5 years, and 30% were ≥75 years. <h4>Discussion</h4> Dog-related deaths are rare in England and Wales and have not increased between 2001 and 2021. Further contextual information about the incidents is needed to be able to develop public health strategies and interventions. <h4>What is already known on this subject?</h4> Dog attacks can cause severe physical injury and psychological trauma, and can be fatal. Hospital admissions due to ‘dog bites or strikes’ in England have doubled between 1998 and 2018, with males and young children the most likely to be bitten. <h4>What this study adds?</h4> Deaths attributed to dog bites or strikes in England and Wales over a 20-year period are rare events and do not appear to be increasing in incidence. Registered deaths were more common in the very young and old, and in males. Further contextual information concerning dog-related deaths is needed to develop public health strategies and interventions.

Item Type: Preprint
Uncontrolled Keywords: 32 Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, 4206 Public Health, 42 Health Sciences, 3202 Clinical Sciences, Physical Injury - Accidents and Adverse Effects, 2.4 Surveillance and distribution, 3 Good Health and Well Being
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2022 13:32
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 18:39
DOI: 10.1101/2022.10.14.22280913
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