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Injuries caused by pets in Asian urban households: a cross-sectional telephone survey

By Emily Y Y Chan, Yang Gao, Liping Li, Po Yi Lee

Category Journal Articles

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.


Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2017
Publication Title BMJ Open
Volume 7
Pages 1-10
ISBN/ISSN 2044-6055
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012813
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal injuries
  2. Demography
  3. Health
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Human diseases and injuries
  6. Pet ownership
  7. surveys