Injuries caused by pets in Asian urban households: a cross-sectional telephone survey.
Chan EYY., Gao Y., Li L., Lee PY.
OBJECTIVES: Little is known about pet-related injuries in Asian populations. This study primarily aimed to investigate the incidence rate of pet-related household injuries in Hong Kong, an urban Chinese setting. SETTING: Cantonese-speaking non-institutionalised population of all ages in Hong Kong accessible by telephone land-line. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 43 542 telephone numbers were dialled and 6570 residents successfully completed the interviews. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Data of pet-related household injuries in the previous 12 months, pet ownership and socio-demographic characteristics were collected with a questionnaire. Direct standardisation of the incidence rates of pet-related household injuries by gender and age to the 2009 Hong Kong Population Census was estimated. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to estimate risks of socio-demographic factors and pet ownership for the injury. RESULTS: A total of 84 participants experienced pet-related household injuries in the past 12 months, with an overall person-based incidence rate of 1.28%. The majority of the victims were injured once (69.6%). Cats (51.6%) were the most common pets involved. Pet owners were at an extremely higher risk after controlling for other factors (adjusted OR: 52.0, 95% CI 22.1 to 98.7). Females, the unmarried, those with higher monthly household income and those living in lower-density housing were more likely to be injured by pets. CONCLUSIONS: We project a pet-related household injury incidence rate of 1.24% in the general Hong Kong population, with 86 334 residents sustaining pet-related injuries every year. Pet ownership puts people at extremely high risk, especially the unmarried. Further studies should focus on educating pet owners to reduce pet-related injuries in urban Greater China.